"A Proper Family Holiday" by Chrissie Manby

Growing up, sisters Chelsea and Ronnie Benson were always close.  But they drifted apart and it’s been two years since they’ve spoken to each other.  So when their mother surprises them with a week-long family holiday in Lanzarote to celebrate her sixtieth birthday, they both dread being in the others company.

Chelsea is a sophisticated single-girl living in London and working as a fashion journalist.  She spends her days surrounded by socialites and designer clothing and dreads spending the week with her less than desirable family.  Ronnie is a mother of two who feels like her best years are behind her and she’s not looking forward to spending the week with her ultra-thin, ultra-fabulous sister who looks down on them.  

The trip gets off to a rocky start and it doesn’t get any better from there.  But as tensions begin to bubble over, Chelsea and Ronnie are forced to confront their feelings toward each other.  When a family secret is exposed, will they give each other a shoulder to lean on or will this holiday tear the family apart?

A Proper Family Holiday is the latest novel by chick-lit writer Chrissie Manby.  This is the fifth novel by Manby that I have read and I have to say that this is my favourite.  I started it early one morning while the rest of the house slept and I found it so hard to put down that I went to bed early just so I could make sure I finished it that day.

Four generations of one family on a holiday together can be very daunting for even the closest of families and you know for sure that hijinks will ensue.  This is exactly the type of book you want to take with you for when you’re sipping on a cold drink poolside.  The characters are loveable even if they’re not the most sophisticated of people and all of the side stories weave well into the main story.  

Told from the perspectives of both sisters, this book has elements of comedy, romance, and heartbreak all wrapped up into one story.  The plot line could have been predictable and parts may be but there is enough going on in this book to keep it interesting with every turn of the page.  I loved the character of Chelsea.  Even though I could relate more to Ronnie and what it’s like to vacation with your children, I liked who she started out as and who she became during the vacation.  The relationship between Chelsea and her nephew Jack was the highlight of the book.

For me, this is chick lit at its finest and I give this book five stars.  From the first page I was swept up in it and didn’t want it to end.  Which is why I’m so happy to see that there is a sequel coming at out at Christmas.  That book will definitely be going on my wish list!

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley.  The opinions expressed above are my own.


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