The cover of the German edition of Christmas Wishes was the reason why I wanted to read this novel. The summary sounded good, and I love to read a wonderful Christmas novel. Well, it turned out to be a surprise for me. This is not a book you can just read. It leaves an impact and the fact, that the author isn´t just providing you with an easy-to-read Christmas novel adds to the reading experience.

by Sue Moorcroft
Translation Sylvia Spatz
Original Title Christmas Wishes
Publisher Fischer TB on September 29, 2021
Genre Novel
Pages 442
Format Paperback
Source Fischer TB

Why does Hannah´s stomach tingle when she sees Nico again after many years? Back then, in their little English village, they were good friends. When they now meet in the wintry old town of Stockholm, feelings are awakened that are new to both of them. So far, Hannah has had bad luck in love. And as a single father, Nico tries to reconcile child and job. Do they have the courage to make a fresh start together? This Christmas they discover what really matters in life. (Personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Hannah lives her dream. She runs her own boutique, is in a happy relationship with her boyfriend Albin, and lives in a city she always wanted to be besides her hometown Middledip. But is her life as perfect as she wants it to be? The moment her old friend Nico stands in her boutique; she knows instinctively that not everything is as perfect as she has hoped. And when her private life lays in pieces, she starts to realize that she needs to stand on her own feet. No matter how big the love is.

On the one hand a beautiful novel with great characters, on the other hand it was sometimes much too dark for me when it came to various problems. Somehow, I don´t like reading about eating disorders, alcohol problems and pill addiction in a Christmas novel. As a briefly mentioned background topic, however, it may not be dealt with in as much detail as here. The author took up all of these topics sensitively but covered too many chapters for my taste. Less would have been more here.

Linguistically she has remained faithful to her writing style, thank God. That made up for a lot of the darker side. And the pictures that Sue Moorcroft conjures up here of Stockholm and the small town of Middledip on paper were a dream. Regardless of whether it was snowing or pouring from buckets – it was just nice to read along with the story. The mental cinema was running at full speed.

The author brings together a whole range of different characters in this novel. There is really everything from the loving father down to the ice-cold asshole to friend. The differences couldn´t be greater.

Hannah learns the hard way that her understanding of human nature is not the very best and that she shouldn´t leave everything to someone else. What surprised me very much was that she did not object to the continued use of her name and only left it with the one appearance with Nico. But otherwise, I admired her strength, courage, and enthusiasm.

Nico is a father with body and soul. He doesn´t take it well that his marriage has broken up, but he is there for his daughter and is solid as a rock. Hats off to how he turns his life inside out in order to get a better quality of life again and not to fall back into old patterns. That was just great.

A novel full of great emotions. Sue Moorcroft offers the reader everything, and even if the story gets one or the other weak point, I was very moved and touched n the end. Maybe not the perfect Christmas story, but close. Clear reading recommendation from me.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer TB in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Einerseits ein schöner Roman mit großartigen Figuren, andererseits war er mir teilweise viel zu dunkel, was diverse Probleme anging. Irgendwie mag ich in einem Weihnachtsroman nichts von Essstörungen, Alkoholproblemen und Tablettensucht lesen. Als kurz erwähntes Hintergrundthema vielleicht aber nicht so ausführlich behandelt wie hier. Zwar hat die Autorin all diese Themen feinfühlig aufgegriffen, aber für meinen Geschmack über zu viele Kapitel thematisiert. Hier wäre weniger mehr gewesen.

Sprachlich ist sie Gott Sei Dank ihrem Schreibstil treu geblieben. Das hat mich für so manches von der dunkleren Seite dann entschädigt. Und die Bilder, die Sue Moorcroft hier von Stockholm und dem kleinen Ort Middledip auf das Papier zaubert, die waren der reinste Traum. Egal ob es da gerade dicke Flocken schneite oder es wie aus Kübeln goss, – es war zusammen mit der Geschichte einfach nur schön zu lesen. Das Kopfkino lief auf Hochtouren.

Die Autorin bringt eine ganze Palette unterschiedlichster Charaktere in diesem Roman zusammen. Da ist vom liebevollen Vater bis runter zum eiskalten Arschloch an Freund wirklich alles dabei. Die Unterschiede könnten nicht größer sein.

Hannah lernt auf die harte Tour, dass ihre Menschenkenntnis nicht die allerbeste ist und sie lieber nicht alles einem anderen Menschen überlassen sollte. Was mich sehr wunderte, war, dass sie sich nicht gegen die Weiterverwendung ihres Namens wehrte und es nur bei dem einen Auftritt mit Nico beließ. Aber sonst hab ich ihre Stärke, Mut und Einsatzfreude sehr bewundert.

Nico ist Vater mit Leib und Seele. Dass seine Ehe zerbrochen ist, steckt er zwar nicht gerade gut weg, aber für seine Tochter ist er da und der Fels in der Brandung. Wie er sein Leben umkrempelt, um wieder mehr Lebensqualität zu bekommen und nicht wieder in alte Muster zu verfallen, Hut ab. Das war einfach nur klasse.

Ein Roman voller großer Emotionen. Sue Moorcroft bietet dem Leser alles, und auch wenn die Geschichte dadurch die eine oder andere Schwachstelle bekommt, war ich am Ende sehr bewegt und gerührt. Vielleicht nicht die perfekte Weihnachtsgeschichte, aber nah dran. Klare Leseempfehlung von mir.

*This book was published in the English language by Avon on November 12, 2020.   

Sue Moorcroft
Sue Moorcroft ©private

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and internationally bestselling author of contemporary fiction and reached the coveted Number 1 spot on Amazon Kindle UK with THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE. She's won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, the Readers Best Romantic Read Award, and the Katie Fforde Bursary. She writes contemporary fiction of life and love and is a past Vice-Chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its short story anthologies. Her novels, short stories, serials, and columns have appeared around the world. She has created writing courses for the London School of Journalism and DigitalSea and is the author of a writing guide. An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta, and the UK. She's worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all 'proper jobs'.



  1. Eating disorders, alcohol problems and pill addictions does sound a little dark for a Christmas story, I agree!

    1. I hope her next Christmas novel is about a different topic.


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