A Christmas Hope: A Novel

A Christmas Hope: A Novel

by Anne Perry
3.8 18

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A Christmas Hope: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Sophia-Rose1 More than 1 year ago
Each holiday season I look forward to getting the latest installment in The Christmas Stories series. I love how the author has taken her minor characters from her regular series and given them their own stories all set against the backdrop of Christmas and their own mystery to solve along with a minor romance for them to dabble in. In this case, it is Claudine Burroughs from the William Monk series. This was an enjoyable bit that showcased Claudine's strength, determination and honor and that of a young couple willing to place love and honesty above convenience and money. Claudine and her husband attend a party where she no sooner meets a poet who challenges her thinking a bit than shortly after he is accused of drunkenly beating a prostitute to near death on the balcony. Three young men from powerful families were there and all claim he did it, but Claudine has her doubts. Her husband acts superior about it all and treats her concerns like they are nothing. She has been married for many years and it was a marriage of convenience. She might not have loved him, but until now she thought he was at least an honest, decent, good man, but now it saddens her that he is willing to accept the comfortable easy answer and turn a blind eye to the fact that guilt is being determined based on connections to money and power instead of facts and truth. She determines that she will do what she can to discover the truth half-way believing the poet is still the guilty party. Claudine enlists the help of the reluctant Squeaky Robinson who is a reformed character, but still knows the dark places well. She does her sleuthing amongst afternoon tea visits, evening parties, concerts and soirees. Hints here and there lead her to the truth and to a pair of young lovers that she is determined to help along the way. Time is running out to help Dai avoid the hangman's noose, but Claudine has a bit of Christmas hope for him and for the others. It's always a real treat to read anything by this author because of how clever she is with blending authentic period backdrop with in-depth real people characters. They have flaws, they have emotions and they experience so much even in these shorter Christmas novellas. This one is set in the mid-Victorian period amongst the glitter and gaiety of the Christmas season for the wealthy of London society. Claudine is nearly drowning in a sea of people because she feels more and needs more than just looking charming on her husband's arm, engaging in trivial conversation and meaningless pursuits. This is why she is drawn to the intensity of the Welsh poet who she meets outside on the balcony at a dinner party and why against everyone telling her otherwise including her own brain she believes he is innocent of brutally beating Winnie Briggs. She's a great heroine because she pursues her course no matter what even though she is well aware of what it may cost her. She even lays out her most private misery for a young couple and the girl's parents to save someone else from a sad marriage. She's just an ordinary woman trying to do what's right and I think that's what I connected with the most. The mystery wasn't really a big part of the plot other than it was the catalyst to send Claudine on her search to find justice and that revealed a young couple's romance. The holiday setting was very backdrop too even though the theme of Christmas hope is always there in this story for several people. My only niggle was that when the truth came out, there wasn't much follow-up to see what happened with the secondary characters or really what the fall out ended up being for Claudine after that last big argument with her husband. Just my curious mind wanting more. Maybe the next book in the regular William Monk series will say something more. All in all, it was a nice heart-warming Christmas story in a historical setting with a strong heroine and a bit of a mystery for her to solve. My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent short novel (98 pages) that is written by an author whom I expect quality writing!! I was not disappointed.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
As a first time reader of Anne Perry’s Christmas novels, I thoroughly enjoyed this Victorian cozy mystery. The heroine is compelling in her aloneness and search for meaning in her life, while the whodunit part of the story is a strong part of the story without being overpowering. Underlying themes of forgiveness, compassion, and love makes this Christmas tale stand out from other mysteries. Clear, succinct writing, with poignant scenes and the sympathetic main character kept me turning the pages. This is a wonderful story, not too long and perfect for the holidays. Very much recommended. 
robbie65 More than 1 year ago
I am an Ann Perry addict. Love her historical detail and story lines. Wouldn't miss one of her books. A Christmas Hope is no exception. Can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always in her Christmas stories Anne Perry takes one of her supporting characters from one of her series as the major character. Highly enjoyed this novel as well as all her previous Christmas offerings
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Christmas related stories. They are usually cute corny and uplifting. Perfect for the holiday season. This book is none of the above. The heroine is a downer and her husband is worse. She is caught in a miserable marriage and is doing nothing to disentangle herself. She does nothing to her bullying know it all of a husband. The victim is rather shady and does nothing to ingratiate himself to the heoine or reader. The true heroine and hero is the young couple who sarcrifice to tell the truth and they end up the happiest. Pretty much a zero for a Christmas book. Blah story, blah characters and blah results.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was a good story. This is my first time reading Anne Perry's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hunneypreader22 More than 1 year ago
I haven't read any Ann Perry novels in a while and was unfamiliar with these characters. It was a fun, quick Christmas themed read, though a little light on any suspense or involved plotting. Kind of anti-climactic ending I thought. But fun atmosphere and the main character is interesting. All in all a solid 3 out of 5, for me, anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy any book by Anne Perry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again, Anne Perry ventures into a different take on a Christmas story. Part mystery and all Victorian mores, it is an enjoyable, rather dark tale set during Christmas time. With a few favorite characters from her Monk series she spins an interesting mystery that illustrates the class struggle and division that was Victorian England and permeated every aspect of the lives of each character. If you enjoy Anne Perry mysteries, Victorian England and a quick read you should pick up A Christmas Hope. It may wet your appetite to try the other books in her William Monk Series and her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
honeygrams5 More than 1 year ago
The Christmas can be the heart of of the season. The characters will remind you of some folks that need to see hope that we would like to give the world. This story would be a gift to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Anne Perry pleases the British palate with tales of not necessarily the rich, but the tales of the not so rich who need to interact with the said rich. The semi-rich folk can actually enjoy volunteering and helping the poor while not putting on 'airs' with these folks that they may be above them at all. So many marriages of this time period are not of love but of necessity for the career of the master of the household. The wife is simply a pawn. I have read almost all of Anne Perry's books as we own an old Victorian home in Omaha. Book Clubs could certainly use any of her books to discuss numerous topics.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
Yes, finally an enjoyable Christmas story than embellishes the spirit of the season. Perry writes a short, yet poignant story of honesty, courage, and forgiveness in Victorian England. Of course, Perry centers on the upper crust of English society, but she exposes the horror and unfairness of the dregs of society. The story focuses on Claudine Burroughs who has the gumption to fight for what she believes. This is only a Christmas novella, but the lessons and characters are endearing.