Hardy’s is an ageing department store on the wrong side of Regent Street. The weeks before Christmas should be the busiest of the year but there’s more staff than customers. It will need a miracle in order to survive. In the depths of the stockroom, Evie has a plan, if only her colleagues can remember her name.
It’s certainly a contemporary tale. For many of us, the run up to Christmas is all about the shopping and the decorations. In the last few years hundred of stores similar to Hardy’s have closed across the nation and it’s a heart-warming tale of hard work and loyalty in places. Nostalgia reigns supreme with hidden treasures found amongst dusty, forgotten stock and beautiful descriptions of Evie’s secret vintage wardrobe.
I have to admit I wanted to slap some sense into Evie. Not only does she not bother to correct colleagues who keep calling her by the wrong name after years of working with them and hearing their secrets but she refuses to take credit for her hard work. I get the idea of Santa’s secret helpers changing the store mysteriously but Evie just came across as a bit of a wet blanket. She then decides to pretend to be someone else. Not just in a faking a personality way but she actually impersonates someone she counts as a friend to get a date and the charade continues for much longer than I could bear. Aaaargh!
There’s plenty of romance and fashion to please most readers though and the above niggles are a personal thing. It’s a bit like when a character hasn’t killed anyone but goes and hides the body in the boot of their car…I just get frustrated! I ended up feeling quite sorry for the losing man by the end.
Certainly a festive read and I enjoyed it when Evie wasn’t avoiding telling the truth.
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