The Christmas Card
Author: Dilly Court
Date of Publication: 3rd November 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Summary: Alice’s Father dies, leaving her and her delicate Mother homeless just before Christmas. Their miserly Aunt Jane takes them in, but there’s a catch – Alice must work as a servant for a local family and fend off the matrimonial advances of her simpering cousin, Horace.
Festive Rating: 🎅🎅🎅🎅
This is the third in my #12daysofChristmas read-a-thon! Each day I will post a review of a Christmas / Winter related book. Hopefully this will give you some Xmas-Inspo and give your holiday reading a boost!
I don’t think it’s a true Christmas read-a-thon without a Victorian romance. Sure, A Christmas Carol is the seminal and definitive Victorian Christmas story. But sometimes you just need the master to fall in love with the serving girl!
I have always really enjoyed Dilly Court novels. She has an easy writing style which makes her books gentle reading. For me, gentle reading and Christmas go hand in hand! In this, we have a down on her luck girl who is employed as a servant in a wealthy house. All I think I need to say is that Uncle Rory is describes as handsome at least four hundred times throughout this book. You see where Court is going with this?
I liked the part played by Alice’s miserly Aunt – a road block which served as an effective road block and also a great villain to boo and hiss out throughout. Similarly Horace is someone who I alternately hated and pitied – not a bad person but certainly not a strong one either! Alice can sometimes be overly harsh in her actions and this rashness can get her in trouble. However I don’t think that’s necessarily a massive negative; it gives her some fallibility which is really nice to see in a heroine. Court’s heroines are almost always self-made and Alice is no exception – using her talent with a paintbrush to bring herself up in the world and improve her lot.
The Christmas Card has all the trappings of a Victorian Christmas novel. At times it is quite bleak (Alice works all day Christmas day and barely sees her Mother at all). At other times there’s a wonderful warmth that Court brings out, imbued with festive spirit.
My recommended drinking for this would be a hot cup of tea (they drink a lot of tea in this book!) on a sofa covered in blankets to ward off the crisp Victorian chill!