A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry

Dear Vespasia,

It was certainly tragic that poor Gwendolen committed suicide during the weekend party at Applecross. I’m sure Isobel could never have suspected that her comment, cruel though it was, would lead to Gwendolen’s death. I also think that Bertie takes some of the blame by not following after Gwendolen and assuring her that he truly wanted to marry her. And expecting Isobel to carry a letter to the dead woman’s mother as a form of expiation seems a bit harsh. After all, she only made a rash comment. On the other hand, she certainly couldn’t afford to have society turn its back on her.

I do think it was kind of you to volunteer to travel with Isobel across Scotland in the winter. It’s a rugged journey, though the scenery did seem as gorgeous even as it’s dangerous. However, I know you had your own reasons between wanting to impress Omegus Jones and your continual wallowing in self-pity regarding an affair you apparently had in Rome. You mention your husband and children so little that I wonder if you missed them at all.

The truth is the whole journey seemed rather pointless to me. Neither you nor Isobel was a sympathetic character and the only mystery was one you “discovered” on the way, a death that everyone else believes was accidental. I am glad that you finally found Gwendolen’s mother, though. She added a spark of interest to the story, even if it was too little, too late.

And the morality in the story, the need to forgive and be forgiven was certainly overdone.

This was my first time meeting you, and the first of Perry’s books that I’ve read or listened to. I expected to enjoy it more than I did.

Sincerely,
Carol

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Christmas Stories #1
3 hours, 37 minutes. Audiobook read by Terrence Hardiman
First published 2003

2 out of 5 stars

Challenges: 100+, Holiday Reading

I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion.