India Knight’s Comfort and Joy

I really wanted to like this book. I love India’s columns in The Times, and find her tweets often hilarious – especially when she and Caitlin Moran are watching Downton Abbey at the same time. I think she usually has a lot of interesting things to say and a sarcastic, yet honest, way of writing. It doesn’t feel, in her columns, as though she’s going for a cheap laugh or a moment’s entertainment at the expense of the point she’s trying to make. But I didn’t feel the same warmth from her novel. Set over three conscutive Christmas Days, 2009-11, …

Christmas Ghost Stories

Ghost stories always seem to have a particular resonance at Christmas. Perhaps it’s the atmospheric frost, fog and snow that almost inevitably occurs. Perhaps it’s the late-night images of telling them around the fire, or the thought that somehow there is something about Christmas, the way that people are so open with one another and more forgiving, which thins the boundaries of this world and another. The Victorian Christmas annuals became a tradition of ghost stories, with famour authors vying to have their contributions accepted – particularly in those published by the likes of Dickens. The Turn of the Screw …