Book Review: Countdown to Christmas

Say “Yes!” to a Canadian Christmas Adventure in Jo Thomas’s ‘Countdown to Christmas‘!

The front cover of Countdown to Christmas by Jo Thomas, set against a white wood background with Christmas gifts and decorations scattered around

I love Christmas as much as anyone and more than most. But even I have to admit that, some years, I’d just love to grab my passport and escape all of the festive prepping and planning.

And that’s exactly what Chloe does when she finds herself facing Christmas alone one year. Her son is heading to New York to visit his Dad, step-mum and new baby sister, leaving Chloe home alone for the first time since Ruben was born.

Then a call from an heir hunter brings news that Chloe has possibly inherited some land in Quebec. Before you can say ‘Ho ho ho’, she’s on a plane and heading to the tiny town of Forêt des Esprits. She doesn’t know anyone over there and has no idea what she’s doing, but Reuben has encouraged her to say ‘Yes” to more while he’s away.

Chloe is soon welcomed by the close community of Forêt des Esprits, and she’s particularly drawn to local good guy Theo. But will they still be as welcoming when they realise she’s only there to scope out the value of her inheritance?

I love Jo Thomas’ Christmas novels, which always feature relatable characters making the most of a bad situation in a gorgeous Christmas setting. Last year’s Christmas novel, Keeping a Christmas Promise, took place in Iceland (read my review here). The year before, Jo took us to a traditional German Christmas Market (click here for my review) in Finding Love at the Christmas Market.

The front cover of Countdown to Christmas by Jo Thomas, set against a white wood background with Christmas gifts and decorations scattered around

This year, in Countdown to Christmas, Jo whisks us off to Canada in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Her main character, Chloe, isn’t looking forward to Christmas on her own. So her son, Ruben, fills an Advent calendar with positive messages to help her make the most of it. That’s the Countdown in the novel’s title!

The setting is as gorgeous as ever. Forêt des Esprits feels like the perfect place to celebrate Christmas, even if Chloe doesn’t realise it at first. Right from the moment she sets foot in the town, we see just how out of place Chloe is. But, of course, she’s soon won over by the wonderful characters and the book reaches a very satisfying ending.

Countdown to Christmas is another great Christmas novel from Jo Thomas. We may not have the deep snow and pine forest of Forêt des Esprits. But snuggling up with this novel, a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate is the next best thing!

The blurb:

Chloe can’t wait for Christmas . . . to be over! Her son Ruben is staying with his dad and Chloe is planning to ignore the holidays altogether. Her only festive touch is her son’s advent calendar, to help count down the days till he’s home again.

But a surprise call changes everything. Chloe might be the unexpected owner of some land in Canada! Surely, it’s a scam. Or could it be just the escape she needs right now? Ruben’s latest note in the advent calendar tells her to ‘say yes!’

In a flash, Chloe’s new countdown to Christmas involves a log cabin in the middle of a snowy forest, a community that’s worried for its future, a gruff lumberjack who gives her butterflies and a lot of pancakes with maple syrup . . .

For a happy Christmas read full of romance and festive surprises, choose Jo Thomas.

Another wonderful festive novel from Jo Thomas – pass the maple syrup! 8.5/10

Countdown to Christmas is available now in Kindle format, audiobook, hardback and paperback

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