The Christmas Lights by Karen SwanThe Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

The Christmas Lights

byKaren Swan

Paperback | October 30, 2018

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Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, this new novel from Globe and Mail bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving holiday tale of love and heartbreak.Norway, 1936. Fifteen-year old Signy Odegard is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures. As milk maids, they will protect the herd and produce dairy that will sustain the farm throughout the winter months. But miles from home and the safety of their families, threats begin to lurk in friendly faces.December 2018. Free-spirited and untethered, Bo Loxley and Zac Elliott live a life of wanderlust most people can only dream of. With a social media following in the millions, they're paid to travel the globe, sharing their adventures with legions of fans. But with so many eyes on them, it's a struggle to keep anything about their lives private. Though Zac relishes the attention, Bo doesn't always feel safe, especially after one follower once went too far.Booked to spend Christmas in Norway, they set up home in a ramshackle farm owned by taciturn local guide Anders and his fierce grandmother, Signy, who are reluctant neighbours in the off-season period. Zac persuades Anders to help him find extreme locations for the most beautiful shots - and their follower engagement goes through the roof. But the camera can lie.With every post, the perfect life he and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth as their relationship comes under strain. Something Bo can't explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and where once she felt free, she now feels lost. As Bo grows closer to Signy, she stumbles upon a dark parallel between their lives - one that ended in tragedy many years ago, and which she fears can surely only end the same way again, now.
Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include: ...
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Title:The Christmas LightsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.19 × 6.32 × 1.39 inPublished:October 30, 2018Publisher:Pan MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1509840613

ISBN - 13:9781509840618

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Alluring, mysterious, and delightfully festive! The Christmas Lights is an atmospheric, compelling tale set in Norway during 1936, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Bo, a young reality star unnerved by an obsessed, online stalker and struggling to enjoy a life that lacks privacy, and Signy a sweet, country girl who learns at a young age the dangers that hide on the hills she loves and amongst the animals that grace them. The writing is smooth, crisp, and vivid. The characters are a mix of kind, endearing, self-indulgent, and exasperating. And the plot is an entertaining mix of heart, hope, angst, mystery, and drama. The Christmas Lights is, ultimately, a story about relationships, adventure, heartbreak, secrets, expectations, love, obsession, and discovering one’s true self that highlights just how susceptible and vulnerable social media can make us. It’s a beautiful, picture postcard of the frozen terrain, rugged mountains, and breathtaking Northern Lights of the fjords of Norway, and is a charming holiday read complete with a sliver of mystique.
Date published: 2018-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Warmed this Grinch's heart! Karen Swan is one of my auto-buy authors. If her name is on, it I’ll read it. This has never steered me wrong, except with her last book which just wasn’t for me. Thankfully, The Christmas Lights is the Karen Swan I know and love! The Norwegian setting was a huge draw for me, especially as that is where the historical portions of the story are set. I am fascinated by the history of the region and what it was like for my ancestors. My great-grandfather was Norwegian and I kind of feel a connection to the lifestyle and the landscape. I live in the Canadian Rockies so it’s not too far off! I had a good feeling that I was really going to enjoy this book and it ended up being my favourite of her books yet! At the risk of sounding like a miserable Grinch, I don’t love Christmas, I don’t love romance and at first glance those two things seem to be the core of this book. I find there’s a lot more depth than just these superficial elements. This story, like all her other books, is actually is more about a woman finding her strength and learning to follow the path that leads to the life she wants, even if she doesn’t know it at first. Strong female characters are stock in trade for Swan’s books and while Bo starts out not entirely likable and a bit silly and weak-willed, she finds her voice and comes out the other side. Of course this is a romance so she doesn’t come out alone! I won’t give away any spoilers but I feel like she chose the right man and the right lifestyle. Signy is the other main character and she features in both the historical sections and the present. She seems to be a totally different type of person from Bo but as the story progresses they find a lot in common. The historical storyline was absolutely beautiful and horrifically brutal at the same time. Seeing Signy as a young girl and the trials she faced fleshed out her character and helped me understand her as an old woman. If possible I loved her even more after learning her story! Weaving in the story of her grandson and his rocky journey towards happiness was very touching and eventually fulfilling. Overall, the ending is a real tear-jerker but a triumphant one. Just like a good romance should be, it’s ultimately a happy ending. Dang, does this mean I like romance now? My cold, dead heart must have grown two sizes today. Thank Karen Swan for taking the humbug and the grouchiness out of this Grinch. If she can warm my heart she can charm anyone! Thank you to Pan Macmillan for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Date published: 2018-10-28