Together By Christmas by Karen Swan is a powerful contemporary novel about friends, fear and relationships.
Good friends are hard to come by. Some are far closer than family. There are some loyal friendships within the novel.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. A close bond between war correspondents has broken down through fear and guilt associated with PTSD. What happened on the front line is an unspoken barrier to the future as two characters are trapped in a moment in time six years earlier. The reader gets glimpses of the past through memories.
The characters are well drawn and realistic. We feel empathy and sympathy for the main character who is bound by PTSD and fear. In her nightmares, she is comforted by her five year old son. There are some touching scenes. In her realisation that life is fragile, fear rules and trust is hard to come by. She does have a huge heart that looks to help others.
The community spirit is alive. Characters reach out to others. In spite of this, sometimes we fail to see what is happening right in front of us. There was a truly jaw dropping moment for me. It was a moment suspended in time where the book was finely balanced with me thinking I did not spot that one coming.
Everyone has dreams. When we try to live out the dreams of another, the pressure we, and others, put on us is too much.
I really enjoyed Together By Christmas. It was a very cleverly constructed novel that grabbed my interest from the start. This was a powerful read with wonderful characters who warmed my heart.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.