Etta

Audiobook Review: Christmas in Vermont

Published October 15th 2019

Author: Anita Hughes

Narrator: Caroline Slaughter

Audiobook Length: 7 hours 53 minutes

A sweet holiday love story about the magic of synchronicity and fate set at a quaint Vermont inn during the week after Christmas.

Emma can’t believe her luck when she finds an open pawn shop on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. She’s there to sell the beautiful bracelet her ex-boyfriend gave her when a familiar looking watch catches her eye. It’s the same engraved watch she gave her college boyfriend, Fletcher, years ago. On a whim, she trades for the watch and wonders at the timing.

Practical Emma thinks it’s just a coincidence, but her best friend Bronwyn believes it’s the magic of synchronicity that caused Emma to find the watch. Fletcher was the one that got away, and somehow Emma never quite moved on.

When Bronwyn finds out that Fletcher is in snowy Vermont at a romantic inn for the week, she can’t help but give synchronicity a push. She signs Emma up to help the inn keeper as the children’s activity coordinator. Emma agrees that a week filled with quaint shops and maple syrup would do her good… and maybe Fate really does have a Christmas gift in store for her. That is until she sees Fletcher with his daughter and fiancee.

Suddenly, the fairytale trip seems doomed to fail… much like the innkeeper’s dwindling cashflow. It will take a miracle to save her heart and the inn. And that just might be what Fate has in mind.

Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links. It’s a nice way for me to continue my love of books and feed my reading addiction.**

Christmas in Vermont is a standalone Hallmark movie set in New England. After breaking up with her most recent boyfriend, Scott, 33 years old advertising agent Emma is selling an engraved bracelet he gave her at a second-hand jewelry store in New York. While there she notices an engraved watch she gave her college sweetheart, Fletcher, eleven years ago. She ends up exchanging the bracelet for the watch, which sets off a flood of memories of her first love. On the surface, it seems Emma and Fletcher broke up after graduating when Fletcher was off to London to become a director and Emma was set to begin a life in New York; however, there is a lot more to their relationship. These pieces slowly are revealed to the reader through flashbacks beginning with the two characters meeting.

When her best friend Bronwyn discovers that Emma is thinking about Fletcher, she launches a plan which involves Emma filling in as a children’s activities coordinator at an inn in Vermont. The inn also happens to be the place where Fletcher is staying, however, unknown to Bronwyn and Emma, he is there with his nine-year-old daughter, Lola, and new fiancée, 26-year-old Megan. The idea of synchronicity bringing Fletcher and Emma back together is a heart-warming concept. I love the idea that those that are meant to be will eventually find each other in a Hallmark style format. As the week progresses, Emma spends time with Lola and Fletcher. To complete the Hallmark style, there is a plot where Fletcher, Lola, and Emma must come together to help with a fundraiser for the inn.

As Fletcher is with Megan at the beginning of the story, he is shown to still have lingering feelings for Emma, however, he clearly states that he is happy being in Vermont with her and Lola. In a predictable manner, Lola does not like her father being with Megan as she feels forgotten and Megan is not the perfect woman Fletched thought. It is fully expected, so my expectations had to be altered a lot as I could see issues with each of these scenarios. The one initial part that I could not get over with is how independent Fletcher let Lola be as she had her own room at the inn plus, she wandered around a lot by herself. I get that it was an opportunity to set up Lola spending time with Emma and to illustrate that Megan and Fletcher’s relationship was not right, it just did not seem the safest option, even in a small town. As for Emma’s interactions with Lola, these were upsetting as Emma is so focused on not disrupting Fletcher’s relationship with Megan to show her inner feelings, she ignores Lola’s feelings on how badly Megan treats her and tells her it is in her head rather than even bring it up as a possibility with Fletcher.

The story begins on Christmas Eve and then continues with a countdown to New Year’s Eve, so I am not sure how this timeline was meant to work. There are a lot of Christmas activities described while the characters are in Vermont, so I could not make sense of it as it is very implausible (more-so than the general Hallmark meant-to-be coincidences). The actual setting is an amazing, romanticized winter wonderland in small town Vermont that made me want to immediately book a trip. There are some errors, such as information about Norman Rockwell, that did not make sense why the author would get it wrong.

Overall, I love the Hallmark-style concept where a couple broke up because of circumstances and meet again for a second chance. Throw in a completely wrong current significant other that is with the person for the wrong reasons, a very involved cast, and a romantic setting and it creates an idealistic formula. Aside from my other issues with this story with how everything was executed, I had difficulty connecting to the idea that Emma and Fletcher would have a lasting relationship even if they got back together. Emma clearly states in the beginning that she never has relationships longer than a year and it is implied that it is because she was always secretly pining for Fletcher through the years. My confusion for this idea is that the original relationship between them was less than a year, so I do not understand how they would not run into the same problem again by the time they hit the year mark the second time around. I absolutely loved the concept of this story, but there were too many unanswered questions to make this fully enjoyable.

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