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Christmas Island–romance in Norway

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Christmas Island

by Natalie Normann

I am not moving to Norway. Ever. It’s too dark and too cold for me. I had a lot of reading fun coming to that conclusion, however, as I read Christmas Island, a romance that begins on a wet, cold, dark, rainy island in Norway. The snow and the need for many layers of heavy clothing would come later. The author, Natalie Normann, is highly qualified to be our atmospheric guide as she grew up in a shipping town on the west coast of Norway. When she writes about the many Christmas foods and traditions peculiar to Norway, she speaks from experience. Originally a Norwegian writer of historical romance, she has lived in Cardiff, Wales, since 2017, and Christmas Island is her second book written in English.

Holly Greene has an enforced four week leave of absence from her hospital job as a doctor resulting from a problem with a co-worker on the job. She is invited to Christmas on the island by her brother Jack as a way to help her survive this period. She meets Tor, mysterious and reclusive, who has rented a house on the island. The reasons both are there are revealed to the reader quite gradually. Holly lives in London and Tor in Oslo making a long-term relationship out of their holiday fling problematic to say the least. They are likable characters in need of healing. Will they find what they need in Norway? Within the island community? With each other?

Normann really helped me experience Norway. I felt like I was tasting the foods along with Holly. I understood her difficulties with the language. Once I raised my head from the pages almost expecting to see a wet snow drifting down. The backdrop she paints is important to the story and pervades the reader’s imagination.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to HarperCollins UK (One More Chapter) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Romance

Notes: 1. #2 in the Very Hygge Holiday Series, but could clearly be read as a standalone.
2. There are too many American and British swear words and vulgarisms for my taste. When I embark on a Christmas read, I look forward to sweet and clean. Although there is a fling, there are no graphic details. Language is the only obstacle for me with this Christmas read.
3. Recipes for three sweet Christmas treats are included.

Publication: November 30, 2020—HarperCollins UK (One More Chapter)

Memorable Lines:

“Fresh air is the Norwegian cure for everything. If you’re unwell, get some fresh air; if you can’t sleep, get some fresh air; if you’re feeling sad, get some fresh air. I think it comes from living too close to the sea and the mountains,” Tor said.

At the hospital gossip and rumours were part of the daily routine, and mostly it was friendly and amusing…until it wasn’t. But she didn’t want to dwell on that today.

Holly opened her mouth to answer, then got completely flustered and knew she was blushing like a whole crop of tomatoes.


  1. I got cold just reading this review! I can’t imagine living where it is dark and cold much of the time! Sounds like the author is a talented writer making you feel as if you were really there…I can do without the swear words, thanks for mentioning that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carla says:

    Great review Linda. I just read The Christmas Escape, set in Swedish Lapland and know exactly what you mean. I loved visiting via a book, not in person. I am glad you still enjoyed this one, despite the swearing. Too bad that marred your enjoyment somewhat. Otherwise, it sounds quite good.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A good review Linda I am not reading any Christmas stories. Swear words don’t bother me if they fit the character. Joan Hess’s Arly Hanks books. I didn’t realize she had died. I did like her books. I am not reading many reviews lately. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you Linda, why do they need all the bad language, especially with a Christmas story. This sounds like a good book and I bet the recipes are worth reading the book too! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      Absolutely. Especially since the author doesn’t include some of the entrees that I think we would need to acquire a taste for. These are their traditional Christmas sweets!


  6. […] Christmas Island–romance in Norway — education pathways […]

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