Easily one of my top 5 favorite books. I read it every Christmas, without fail. I love the story of being someplace snowy and foreign for Christmas with no obligations or schedule.
The novel tells the story of 5 sort of strangers thrown together by loss, new beginnings, and escapism at an old manor house in the very far north of Scotland, where snow falls heavy and blocks transit and night lowers about 3 pm. There is a kindly minister, a clattering cleaning women, accommodating local vendors, last minute parties, and sincere and simple gift giving. I also like that it was written before our current 24 hour news cycle, smart phones, and celebrity worship of the millennium.
Start your own St. Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day tradition and read it for the holidays. Then read it again next year! And the next year….