Rane Aria

Just reading, drawing,crocheting and enjoying naps

The Holly and the Ivy by Elisabeth Fairchild

The Holly and the Ivy - Elisabeth Fairchild

  Christmas for some can be double-edged. One side showing the joy and the togetherness we feel when we are with our love ones. The other a sharp dull pain for those who we have lost or the inability to be with the ones we love.
Fairchild again writes the harder side of life and in the time of Christmas while showing us one thing Christmas is know for the most: hope.

Mary River is spending time with her grandmother in London away from her family this Christmas. She tries to make the best of it on her own for her dear but ailing grandmother. Missing her family and dealing with a few troubles along the way, she uses her cheerfulness and smiles as a shield to hide her loneliness. Her smile is what attaches and repulses her grandmother's cold neighbor, Lord Balfour aka Lord Thorn.

Balfour is dealing with a great deal of grief for the lost of his only true friend he's had since he was a boy. Abandoned by his parents to travel the world and leave the child to the care of others. Balfour has never truly liked Christmas, even more so with his close friend sudden death. When Balfour sees Mary so cheerful, it rubs the wound upon his heart raw. Until he helps the young woman and her grandmother one day and starts to see another side of the not so cheerful woman.

It was great to sit down and get lost again in Fairchild's lyrical writing. She always hit the nail on the head with people's emotions, especially when surrounded by so much cheer and dealing with lost.

Mary and Balfour come from different walks of life, yet find common ground in their loneliness. Each helps the other with troubles that come across from a Christmas Eve ball to hiring a new maid. These things are just pieces that bring the two together.

You grow to care for each of these characters, sadly not everything is smooth sailing. Balfour gets some bad advice that as the reader you know bad tidings are coming. I hate misunderstandings and this was Balfour's own insecurities coming forth. Still, it didn't ruin the book, perhaps because he groveled so nicely. *grins* And in Mary's time of need he helped her and held her and letting go of the loneliness that so ruled his life.

This was beautiful Christmas tale and perfect to curl up with for the season and a reminder of the greater things of the season, family, hope and love.