For example, Judith Kinghorn's The Snow Globe is the perfect catnip to fans of Downton Abbey with it's emotionally distraught heroine facing hard choices in the wake of discovering some family secrets and lies.
At first, young Daisy Forbes is just as eager to enjoy her nineteenth Christmas at Eden Hall in 1926 as she was during her childhood. As the youngest of three daughters, she is the last to remain at home and apart from the aftermath of WWI, has seen little of the harshness of the world. For the present, the most exciting event in her life is the mysterious disappearance of acclaimed author Agatha Christie, a search that even Daisy does her best to take part in:
Even when Mrs. Christie does reemerge, Daisy is still secure in her belief that her family life is as serene as the house within the snow globe given to her by her father Howard so many years ago.
However, a serious crack in that facade is made when,during a get-together at home, Daisy learns that Howard has been cheating on her mother Mabel for years and particular with an actress named Margot Vincent.
The shock of that news is compounded by the arrival of Margot as a holiday guest, along with her son Valentine, an invitation given by Mabel who is perhaps more aware of her husband's infidelity than her youngest child realizes:
That decision is further complicated by three possible love interests; Ben, a stable young man who is a bit domineering, Valentine, who is instantly attracted to her despite already being engaged to another woman and Stephen, the adopted son of the family's cook and shell shocked gardener.
Stephen's attachment to Daisy runs deep, as they've been friends since their childhood days when he was sent to live with the Forbes during the war time evacuations. While Daisy also has strong feelings for him, she is upset that,due to his chauffeur duties, Stephen was aware of her father's unfaithfulness for a long time and didn't tell her. Stephen desires to leave Eden Hall to make a better life for himself and wants Daisy to join him yet her recent discovery of such close range deception makes her rather distrustful at the moment:
Daisy does leave Eden Hall, but goes to London to stay with her carefree sister Iris while her mother takes a trip through Europe with her equally flighty sister in law Dosia, both of them looking to find new purpose in their lives.
As time goes on, the path to what lies ahead for each of them is made clear but the willingness to be bold is what may hold one or both of them back.
The Snow Globe is a well told tale with vivid emotional insights given to more than one character. I like how it's not all about Daisy, her mother Mabel and Stephen's adoptive mother Mrs. Jessop are also seen as struggling to figure out what's left to them to enjoy in life with the changes coming up in their respective worlds. The pace of the writing is leisurely yet brisk in all the right places.
I was much pleased to share my thoughts on The Snow Globe for the current blog tour for the paperback and look forward to reading Judith Kinghorn's earlier books as well. Even if you're not into Downton Abbey, there is much to cherish here and for my fellow DA lovers, this lovely book should make the blow of learning that the sixth season will indeed be the last a bit better to bear: