It was the beautiful cover that caught my attention first. The fact, that it is a book I found at the library and a new release made it THE perfect read for the last hours of 2022. I love Karen Swan´s winter novels. The snow, the silent atmosphere, the emotions the author brings to paper and the story itself is all you need in a winterly set novel written by KS. And it was fun to read her in her native tongue. I like German editions, but the original language is always the best. So this became my last read in 2022. An emotional read with joy, tears, and lots of tissues *sniff*

The Christmas Postcards
by Karen Swan
Publisher Pan on October 27, 2022
Genre Novel
Pages 446
Format Paperback
Source Library

It had been a make-or-break holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob´s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter´s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home. As Natasha comforts the distraught child, she turns to social media for help. Miraculously, the toy is found, but it has become the lucky mascot of a man named Duffy, who is thousands of miles away, trekking in the Himalayan foothills. When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures, the pair begin a correspondence that soon becomes more meaningful to both of them. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger understands her more than the man lying next to her. But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha begins to notice a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop. Too late, Natasha wonders why he had ever needed a lucky mascot at all.
Natasha, her daughter, and her husband make one final stop in an apartment in Vienna when things turn south. The stress of traveling with a toddler and the exhaustion they all feel after some hours on a plane and a few hours apart from the next, they do things a bit differently. Result: a mess, literally. And with that, another story begins, Natasha never thought to be possible.

The writing style is simple, the tone at times casual and relaxed, at times soulful and highly emotional. Everything just fits together. Emotions are capitalized, there are moments when I burst into tears, and in other places, I couldn't read a line because of the tearful emotion, I was so moved. Karen Swan took me into a novel that shows both the heaviest snowfall in Vienna and the warm coziness of a cuddly toy that is sorely missed. And leads to an incredible reunion. If you don't show any emotions while reading here, you can't be helped. Have tissues ready!

The reader gets to know Natasha in a way that the protagonist couldn't have been more uncomfortable with. And that's exactly how she takes readers' hearts by storm, just like her daughter a few pages later. What made me laugh tears when Natasha tries to find out what happened just before in a scene with the little one. The author has conjured it up so deliciously on paper that no emotion is left out. The author is simply the best at winter novels.

An incredibly emotional novel that pulls you in from the first line. Emotions are capitalized here and a little girl takes the hearts of the readers by storm.

Happy reading

Karen Swan
Karen Swan ©Alexander James

Karen Swan has long worked as a fashion journalist for magazines such as Vogue, Tatler, and YOU. She lives in Sussex, England, with her husband and three children. If the children let her, she writes novels in her treehouse.


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