A Christmas Journey: A Great Fireplace Read

Zainab Talha, Scoop Writer

With the holidays coming up and winter settling in, A Christmas Journey is the perfect book to read. Anne Perry, who is known for the series Thomas Pitt and William Monk writes A Christmas Journey as a historical mystery novel that follows the interactions of a group of wealthy British elites. 

The novel starts off by introducing a young woman, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, who is depicted as being very noble and intelligent. The scene then shifts, describing the current setting: a house party consisting of other privileged members of the upper class for a weekend house party. Suddenly however, the mood drastically shifts as it is revealed a young woman commited suicide and another, Isobel Alvie who is a friend of Lady Vespasia, is held responsible for it. To prevent lies and misunderstandings from spreading about everyone else in the room, Isobel Alvie is punished by being sent to the northern parts of Scotland. She is tasked with breaking the grief filled news of death to the young woman’s mother; something anyone would find difficult. 

The book unfolds as Lady Vespasia begins to put together the details of the suicide and how there may be more happening than everyone else seems to believe. 

The author does a wonderful job of developing the characters while also letting the plot unravel in a suspenseful and mysterious way. Each character in the novel is shown to have their own struggles they grapple with while trying to make sense of the events occuring in the present. In particular, Lady Vespasia is shown to be a likable character which readers can not only relate to, but also in a sense admire, for her qualities and kind nature. 

In general, this was an engaging story, and it included elements that would appeal to a variety of readers. The book is based off of traditional values, such as honor and reputation, making it more enjoyable to read than any other book set in the present. Anne Perry also structures the plot so that readers are captivated throughout the novel, waiting in anticipation to find out what really happened the night of the suicide. The theme of the book centers around true friendship and can provide meaning to anyone who ever had the joys of having a true friend. 

Although the book was overall interesting, there were portions of it that were somewhat repetitive. The same ideas were repeated multiple times, making it somewhat redundant. This was not a huge problem, as other qualities in the rest of the book, such as suspense, made up for this. 

With mystery in its crevices and companionship in its cracks, A Christmas Journey is the perfect read for a cold, snowy day.