Driving Home for Christmas – yes, you do have that song going round your head now don’t you? And I’m not sorry as it’s one of my favourite Christmas songs. The song reminds me of driving from London to Edinburgh one Christmas Eve in the mid 90s with my now husband when he worked in London. I seem to remember we stopped at a service station somewhere and it was all snowy. Stuck in a queue round about Manchester, at the line ‘I look at the driver next to me, he’s just the same’ we glanced at the car next to us to discover that actually, he wasn’t just like us as he was dressed up as Santa! Or maybe he actually was Santa… Anyway, I love the song and I loved this book too!
About the book
THREE CHRISTMASES. TWO BROKEN HEARTS. ONE HELL OF A JOURNEY.
‘Festive, feel-good and funny, a proper Christmas cracker of a read’ LAURA KEMP
Driving home marks the start of the holidays for Kate and Ed, who have made this journey every Christmas of their ten-year long relationship. Normally the seasonal hits blare from the car stereo, and they are guaranteed to be wearing ridiculous jumpers in anticipation, but this year a frosty silence fills the car…
A massive argument leads to the immediate collapse of their relationship. But the show must go on, so they decide to brave their families together one last time.
With three Christmases to celebrate, an old flame waiting under the mistletoe and a shed load of expectation around their future together, this most wonderful time of year is anything but. There will be turkey, tiffs and tantrums galore, but it’s sure to be a Christmas they’ll never forget.
We meet Kate and Ed when they are driving home for Christmas. There’s already a bit of an atmosphere as Kate is an hour late leaving her job and Ed has had to sit in a chilly car for over an hour waiting for her. Sometimes stresses and strains seem amplified at Christmas and they certainly take their toll on this relationship. Although they have a massive argument on the journey and decide that time is up for the relationship, with three different family groups to spend Christmas with, they decide to fake it with the families, rather than risk spoiling their Christmases too. There were some rather uncomfortable scenes for both Kate and Ed as the weight of expectations from their families made for some rather awkward moments!
Kate’s grandmother, known as Gubba, was one of my favourite characters. She was feisty, astute and wasn’t averse to speaking her her mind which at time was hilarious. Kate’s much younger brother, Tom, was just so sweet and it was lovely to see how he looked up to Kate and especially to Ed.
Kate and Ed so obviously still loved each other, still fancied the pants off each other and admitted as much. We see how their very different life paths and expectations had led them to grow apart. I enjoyed getting to see how their relationship developed from when they first met as teenagers and what made them into the people they’d become. I so wanted them to resolve their differences but they seemed insurmountable.
Driving Home for Christmas is a book which will give you all the festive feels but could be enjoyed at any time of the year really. Ed and Kate are really relatable characters and I was completely caught up in their story. I absolutely loved this book and definitely recommend you add it to your Christmas reading list.
My thanks to the publishers Quercus, for my review copy of the book from Netgalley.
Driving Home for Christmas came out in paperback yesterday and is also available as an ebook or audiobook.
About the Author
Joanna Bolouri worked in sales before she began writing professionally at the age of thirty. Winning a BBC comedy script competition allowed her to work and write with stand-up comedians, comedy scriptwriters and actors from across the UK. She’s had articles and reviews published in The Skinny, the Scottish Sun, the Huffington Post and HecklerSpray. She lives in Glasgow with her daughter.