Dec 23, 2014

The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver

Christmas at the Davenports’ house was always about one thing: food!
But when sisters Ella and Maddy were split up, Ella to live in London with their Dad, and Maddy staying in Greece with their Mum, mince pies lost their magic.
Now, a cheating husband has thrown Ella a curved snowball…and for the first time in years, all she wants is her mum. So she heads back to Greece, where her family’s taverna holds all the promise of home. Meanwhile, waitress Maddy’s dreams of a white Christmas lead her back to London…and her Dad.
But a big fat festive life-swap isn’t as easy as it sounds! And as the sisters trade one kitchen for another, it suddenly seems that among the cinnamon, cranberries and icing sugar, their recipes for a perfect Christmas might be missing a crucial ingredient: each other.


Review by Tanya

This is a very different Christmas book with part set in London and part in Greece.  It’s about the life of two sisters, Maddy and Ella, and how they were split up to live with different parents. Maddy lived in London with her Dad and went to a boarding school and Ella stayed with her mum in Greece helping to run a little Greek tavern. This is set when the girls are older but shows how these events affected their lives as they grew up.
Maddy initially seems like a confident woman that has it all but the betrayal of her husband sends her back to Greece and the hopeful comfort and support of her mum. However, things are difficult between them as they have missed the crucial years of bonding. Her sister Ella does not help as she is wary of her sister and does not make her feel very welcome. Things improve when Maddy gives Ella the money for the flight to be able to pursue her dream of singing in London for the Christmas period.
The story of how their life develops and changes over the Christmas period in the different countries is lovely to read. There is the picturesque snow scene in London in comparison to the initially warm and sunny scene in Greece. The relationship between mother and daughter changes and Ella sees her dad for the first time in a long time. 
The book has a nice positive feel to it and makes you feel warm and hopeful inside.

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