Friday, February 8, 2019

The Universe Sent Me a Romance Novel to Read: The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake

I was cataloging new materials at the library last week and this came across my desk. At first I didn't pay any attention to what it was about, but something made me pause and take a second look. Aha! After realizing I didn't have anything romantic at all on my reading list for February, the universe decided to hand me something to read. Thank you, Universe. 

The Hygge Holiday is a novel that will, quite simply, make you want to light candles and cozy up with your favorite blanket and something warm to drink. It's a delightful tale about Clara, a Danish woman traveling around England, who finds herself in the small town of Yulethorpe shortly before Christmas. Yulethorpe was, just a few short years before, a bustling, delightful town full of quaint shops, lovely restaurants, and a steady stream of folks from all around. Yet now the last shop, a toy store, is closing down, and the only remaining pub is a bit bare bones. Yulethorpe has lost it's mojo. Clara befriends Louisa, the owner of Alden's Toys, as she announces she's giving up, closing the shop and flying off to Spain. Clara offers to flat sit for her, and asks if she can keep the shop open, since Christmas is coming soon and folks need to buy gifts. With Louisa's blessing, Clara settles into the flat, and soon has the toy store open, creating amazing window scenes that draw crowds and generate positive buzz in Yulethorpe. 

Joe Alden, Louisa's son, is a high-flyer in London, always working, never taking a day off, and he's frustrated he can't get a hold of his mother. He drives down to Yulethorpe to see what's going on, and he clashes with Clara. Clara herself practices  hygge--which is a Danish concept of slowing down, enjoying life, and making simple changes that keep you happy and content. Yes, it means having candles, making supper, creating a cozy home, taking the time to enjoy the scenery on a walk. Can Clara work her magic on Joe, and get him to put his phone away, slow down and rediscover the simple pleasures of life?

There is a romance between Joe and Clara, but it's pretty minimal and slow paced. The main focus of this novel is really about becoming aware of the simple pleasures in life, and how they can create a sense of contentment and peace in all of us. Simply slowing down, puttering at home, and shutting off the phone can help us destress and enjoy life. It's fun to watch Joe slowly let go of his frantic London life and discover that he really doesn't enjoy his job, his cold apartment, and all those take out meals. The physical toll it is taking on him becomes more and more apparent as he spends more time around Clara. 

This was a sweet, fun read; just what I needed this week. I would definitely read more Rosie Blake novels in the future! I can guarantee you'll want to buy candles and comfy throws after you've turned the last page. If you already practice hygge, congratulations! You've learned the art of de-stressing. 

Rating: 3/6 for a sweet tale of turning off, tuning out, and enjoying the simple joys of life. I would love to read more tales set in Yulethorpe. 

Available in paperback and ebook. 

No comments :

Post a Comment