Wow. I did not like this book at all. This is the third book taking place on the Island of Roone. I am a sucker for series books and this one just turned into a mess. Maybe because the story just focuses on two characters (Laura and Tilly). I just had a hard time with how things worked out in this book, and also how we just heard about but never saw characters. I maybe rolled my eyes at how Nell's stepson seemed to just walk into a room and some teen girl falls for him (just like in book #2). Though it was a Christmas book, it barely figured into this story I thought.
Laura has dealt with some tragic things in the two years we have seen this character. She had another baby and is constantly fighting with her husband Gavin. She seems to hate the air he breathes and is angry that he invited his mother to visit before the holidays. Laura is a pill in this almost until the end. You find out what is going on with her and why she's acting the way she is, but I started to run out of sympathy for her at the halfway point.
Tilly was born and raised in Australia. You initially don't get who she is, but Meaney lets you know after a few chapters why Tilly is so focused on getting to Ireland and Roone. Tilly just makes a terrible decision after terrible decision. I also didn't get her parents in this book. They barely felt present to me. Considering everything that Tilly is involved with before she leaves Australia, I had a hard time buying her parents would let her leave the country during Christmas.
We get some sightings of Nell, James, and Jame's son. We hear about characters such as Eve and Nell's father. I felt disappointed in this one, cause Laura and Tilly are not that exciting on their own.
The book dragged for me until the very end when things magically get wrapped up. I thought there was too much going on in this one though. We get storms, a death, fighting every five seconds, etc. I just thought it was too much to read about happening in just a few days.