One night will change their lives forever…
Georgia Bailey is closing up her little charity shop in Oakbarrow when she gets a mysterious late night call from a stranger, threatening to jump off the town’s bridge.
Something about the man’s voice is faintly familiar but all she can do is stay on the line and after talking for hours, losing sense of time passing, coax him back from the edge.
The next morning, Georgia walks to work, buys a festive latte from Leo (who she’s had a crush on for months!) at the local coffee shop, and is shocked when she suddenly recognizes the voice from last night…
A heartwarming festive love story that reminds us that even in the darkest of times, hope is always just around the corner!
It's a Wonderful Night is a modern take on the movie It's a Wonderful Life... Or, I think it is. I haven't actually seen the movie (don't throw things at me!).
Georgia Bailey is named after the main character in the movie as her mother was obsessed with it.
Leo, Georgia's love interest, owns a coffee shop titled It's a Wonderful Latte thanks to his father's love of the movie.
See where this is going?
Like in the movie, one night, Georgia (who would be kinda in the role of movie Clarence) stops Leo (who would kinda be in the role of movie George) from jumping off a bridge in his lowest moment.
I don't know if that's where the similarities between the book and the movie end as, as I said, I've never seen the movie but it's constantly referred to throughout the novel and for fans of the movie I guess that would be a plus but for me, it was a bit, well, irrelevant. And slightly annoying... Like I was constantly missing the point or something.
The book is a little bit different from your usual fluffy Christmas fare as literally having to talk someone down off a bridge is not exactly light reading material. However, despite the heavier circumstances, the book still manages to be delightfully festive as Georgia sets out on her mission to save both Leo and the local high street with the help of Leo, whether he wants to help or not.
There's festive coffee flavours, talks of holiday shopping, window decorating, town decorations, Christmas light switch on ceremonies, hot chocolate, and Christmas tunes.
It was delightfully British with all the chatter about Woolworths and various Christmas traditions, and quirks, that anyone born and raised in old Blighty would relate to and it made me smile as did the collection of wonderful secondary characters.
It would have been an easy 4 star but... I had an issue with Georgia and Leo which made me flip back and forth between 3 stars and 4 like a yo-yo.
The relationship between Georgia and Leo was sweet, it was intense and it felt like they were made for each other. All good things, right? I was rooting for them, I was but... Georgia was lying to him. This sweet, vulnerable guy had no clue that Georgia was the guardian angel who talked him off that bridge and he didn't know because she lied. I understood why she initially concealed who she was and I understood why as time went on she felt like she couldn't come clean but the charade - no matter how well-meaning - grew tiresome quickly as did the escapades required to maintain it.
I hated the deception and wished that it was resolved much much earlier in the story and because it wasn't, my enjoyment was tainted with annoyance that I couldn't squash no matter how much I wanted to.
All in all, I ultimately enjoyed the book.
The festive elements worked for me and - ignoring the deception thing - Leo and Georgia were a wonderful couple.
It won't become a festive favourite but I'm glad I took a chance and read this and if there are any more books set in this fictional town with this motley assortment of characters you can count me in!