Sunday, 10 November 2019

Book Review: The Christmas Party by Karen Swan

The Christmas Party
Karen Swan

The Christmas Party is a delicious, page-turning story of romance, family and secrets.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia 
Imprint: Macmillan
Publication date: 29th October 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Romance
Pages: 400
RRP: $29.99 AUD
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher 


When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle.

Why her? Something unknown – something terrible - made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.

Before moving in, Connor Shaye, the prospective new owner, negotiates throwing a lavish party at the castle just days before Christmas – his hello, their goodbye. But as their secrets begin to catch up with them, Ottie, Willow and Pip are forced to ask themselves which is harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past?

The Christmas Party, set in south-west Ireland, tells the story of the Lorne family living in the 700 year old Lorne Castle. Declan Lorne, the last living knight in Ireland, his wife Serena and their three grown daughters Ottie, Pip and Willow may be the end of the Lorne legacy. With no male heir and an ever mounting amount of costly repairs required on the ageing castle it looks like Lorne Castle will need to be sold.

The Christmas Party is a story of family, heritage and the massive financial burden of keeping an ageing castle intact. Swan also highlights the guilt felt when a century old family legacy can no longer be upheld.
This is a character driven novel told through the eyes of the three strong but very different Lorne sisters. Ottie loved Lorne Castle and spent her days helping her father run the estate. She also held a secret that caused her to become withdrawn. Pip is stubborn, a tom-boy and nuts about her horses but a long held grudge could cost her her life. Willow, the youngest Lorne, had fled to Dublin three years earlier with a devastating secret of her own.
Now all back together, after their father’s sudden death, the girls must work out their differences, trust each other, and decide how to move forward.

Each year I eagerly look forward to Karen Swan’s new Christmas title and The Christmas Party didn’t disappoint.
The story was totally engrossing with just the right amount of mystery running through the plot. The three Lorne sisters were strong women but they each made mistakes in life and had feelings of failure they needed to overcome.

Karen Swan has written another unforgettable novel with enough tension, mystery, romance and heart-break to keep you turning the pages.

This is one book that needs to be on your Christmas list. 


My rating 5/5

Click on the book covers to read my reviews of other Karen Swan titles. 

Karen Swan is the Sunday Times top three bestselling author of sixteen books and her novels sell all over the world. She writes two books each year - one for the summer period and one for the Christmas season. Previous winter titles include Christmas at Tiffanys, The Christmas Secret, The Christmas Lights, and for summer, The Rome Affair, The Greek Escape and The Spanish Promise.

Her books are known for their evocative locations and Karen sees travel as vital research for each story. She loves to set deep, complicated love stories within twisty plots, sometimes telling two stories in the same book.




  1. This one sounds intriguing :) I love the historical aspect of it and, of course, that it's a Christmas story. Great review!

  2. This looks divine - I wants it

  3. I love the mystery aspect! And I love Christmas themed books too.

    1. Christmas and a mystery what more can you ask for except romance and there is that too. :)

  4. Great review. I know I would love this book.

    1. I'm sure you would Robin. We have much the same taste in books.

  5. Glad you enjoyed this book!

  6. Amazing review, this is the first time I have heard or seen this book and it looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and right up my alley. I'm really glad you fully enjoyed reading this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.