A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss (audio)

Source: Purchased
Audiobook, 11+ hrs.
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A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss, narrated by Elizabeth Sastre, is a delightful reunion of three half sisters — Maggie, Simone, and Star — in a small village, Rowan Thorp, after the passing of their father. These sisters have not spoken or visited one another for many years, and all were affected by their traveling, unreliable, antiquing father, Augustus. These sisters return for their father’s funeral and the chill between them is palpable, until the reading of their father’s will requires them to work together in order to receive their inheritance.

Star is the new-age, hippie sister, while Simone is the high achiever, and Maggie is the one that stayed in the village with her children and raised them along after her husband passed away. Menopausal Maggie is having a secret fling with the grocer, while Simone has come to the village with a saddened heart as she and her wife try for a baby through IVF. Star seems carefree to her sisters, but her last boyfriend’s drug addiction cost her everything — job and home — leaving her little choice but to return to the village where she was a happy child until her sisters no longer came for the summer.

Bayliss is adept at crafting quirky characters and providing a well-rounded picture of the village and its residents. As she unravels the backstories of each sister and their lives after their blissful summers with their father ended, Bayliss sets the stage for a reset for these sisters and healing through a winter solstice celebration and the sifting through their father’s antique/junk shop. These characters feel like family, even the town busybodies. You can’t help but hope these sisters patch up their differences, learn to forgive, and work together.

A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss is a sweet cup of cocoa with some dark, bitter chocolate thrown in. I loved these sisters and their squabbles, but even more so because they were able to grow and evolve.

RATING: Cinquain

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About the Author:

A former professional cake baker, Jenny Bayliss lives in a small seaside town in the United Kingdom with her husband, their children having left home for big adventures. She is also the author of The Twelve Dates of Christmas, A Season for Second Chances, and Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.