CHRISTMAS AT TIFFANY'S – Karen Swan
Scotland, New York, Paris, London – Present Day
Cassie Fraser is preparing to celebrate her tenth wedding anniversary at her and her husband's rural estate in Scotland. Her three childhood friends have arrived and are helping her dress, although the hot number that Kelly brought from the fashion district in New York City is certainly nothing like the Laura Ashley dress Cassie had planned to don. But an overheard phone call changes everything as Cassie discovers that her husband has done more than cheat on her, he's got a son with the local woman Cassie had called friend. Stunned, Cassie allows her three pals to whisk her away from it all, vowing to help her get through the horrific betrayal. Kelly, Suzy, and Anouk plot her future. Cassie will spend four months of the next year with each of them – in New York, Paris, and London, before Cassie decides what she will do for the rest of her life.
Naïve, hurt beyond belief, and with no career to fall back on, Cassie blindly follows Kelly back to New York where she helps in her friend's fashion business. Kelly is a type A personality who never stops. She gets Cassie into jogging, eating minimalist meals, and fixes her up with a hair dresser who takes her under his wing. The late night parties, lack of sleep, and general confusion about what she's supposed to be doing at her job has Cassie whirling through her life. When she literally runs into Suzy's brother Henry while jogging, he challenges her to complete a list he's made for her. In the meantime, she meets Luke, a fashion photographer, who sweeps her off her feet. But is this relationship for real? We soon find out when Cassie moves on to Paris.
Paris, City of Lights, romantic, and Cassie faces a totally different lifestyle with Anouk. It's more laid back, casual, but chic. With a job at Dior, Cassie settles into Paris, and with yet another list of things she must do from Suzy's brother. Not sure what the point of his lists are, still Cassie feels challenged to accomplish each assignment. One task sends her to meet a recluse chef, and his lessons in cooking have Cassie focused and excited – could this be her future? But life has a way of making one sit up and take notice, and a tragic event while she is on a weekend trip makes Cassie rethink many things, including her failed marriage, and who she truly is.
It isn't until Cassie moves on to London that everything begins to come to a head. Recovering from yet another loss, she throws herself into helping wedding planner Suzy, who is stretched thin as well as heavily pregnant.
CHRISTMAS AT TIFFANY'S is a delightful coming of age tale of a rather nice young woman who has been dealt a tough card in marriage. Wed at twenty one, Cassie never really had a chance to spread her wings, and now her three friends are giving her that opportunity. Everything isn't perfect or wonderful or pleasant, but a new, vibrant Cassie is emerging from her cocoon.
What a fun, well written book. I stayed up late finishing it and, while I think I knew early on what the potential outcome would be, it was still a surprising and heartwarming ending. Don't miss CHRISTMAS AT TIFFANY'S.