Tuesday 15 November 2016

Reviewed: The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell

TITLE: The Christmas Guest
AUTHOR: Daisy Bell

PUBLICATION DATE: November 3, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

A puppy for Christmas. A friend for life. The story of a homeless puppy with a huge heart who healed a family . . .

When Teddy runs away from home a week before Christmas, he's far too excited to worry about what lies ahead. But all too soon Teddy realises just how cold and scary the world really is, and what was supposed to be the perfect adventure now seems like a terrible mistake.

Then Teddy is discovered on a snowy doorstep by the Woods family. With their kind hearts and cosy cottage, Claire, Ben and their daughter Emily are the family Teddy is desperate to have. But Emily is ill, her parents are stressed and, with Christmas around the corner, raising and training a well-meaning but unruly puppy is hardly a priority.

Teddy knows he and little Emily have a once-in-a-lifetime bond, and that he can be the best friend she needs in this dark time. If only he can prove to Ben and Claire how much happier he could make them all, Teddy might just find the family of his dreams this Christmas.

The Christmas Guest is one of several cute pet-related festive stories out this year but I love this trend – magical Christmas stories featuring adorable animals is always a winner in my eyes.

Teddy, or Mr Snuggles as he is unfortunately known as to start with, belongs to Veronica and Richard, but from the moment Veronica was first presented with the puppy and she threw him to the floor when he had an accident on her, he’s known she didn’t particularly love him. When the chance arises a week before Christmas, Teddy runs away and finds himself sleeping out in the snow beside the house which could become his new home, if they want him.

Teddy was just the cutest of narrators. I think I loved him from the moment he called snowflakes moonflakes – and from then on it was lovely watching him learn about life with his new family. For a dog he was full of character and with the story being told from his viewpoint, it only enhanced the uplifting qualities to the story as his character was a lovely, animated one who gets up to various adventures but always means well. He’s a kind-natured dog with a big heart and his new family are one that could use some of his joy.

Claire, Ben and their daughter Emily are, picked up on by Teddy straight away, weary-eyed and struggling with their own problems despite all the love that is evident there. We soon learn that Emily is sick and she is feeling quite low – until Teddy arrives. The story of this new family of four is a really tender one which tugs at your heartstrings and has you eager for some festive cheer and happiness for the characters as Christmas approaches.

There’s more to this story than simply the cute dog on the cover (though of course he is a delight) – through Emily and her family’s story, there are parts of this book that bring out a range of emotions and have you, or me at least, fighting back the tears. I love those books that break your heart a little bit and then mend it back together, and The Christmas Guest is the perfect example of one of those books – a real, heart-warming, Christmas treat of a novel.

I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing too – how the chapters were set out in the form of a countdown to Christmas, and how with each chapter it becomes more wintery and full of a feel-good festive nature. Despite tough times for the family meaning Christmas is a more stressful time than usual, the connection between Emily and Teddy is truly lovely to read and had me smiling on many occasion. Overall The Christmas Guest is a beautiful novel of the true meaning of Christmas with a star character in the form of a loveable dog – what’s not to love?


  1. Such a cute book cover! I would give that little guy a home if he turned up on my doorstep!


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