Book Review: The Sh!te Before Christmas by Serena Terry

Having followed Serena Terry / @mummybanter on social media, and enjoyed her first book – when I saw she had a sequel out – and it referred to Christmas in a similar vein to me – I had to request a copy off NetGalley!

Here’s the blurb:

One month to go. One stressed mum. Can she pull off the perfect family Christmas?
Twas the sh!te before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for … mum!
Like every mum, Tara wants a perfect Christmas for her family – but no-one else is lifting a finger and she’s losing her elf-ing mind. From the kids behaving badly (vaping! Potty training! The Nativity!), to a distracted husband acting very out of character, the last straw is Tara’s glamorous, feckless, boundary-less mother moving herself back in for the holidays.
Can Tara pull off the holly jolly Christmas of her dreams? Will she deck the halls and not her family? Or is this a Christmas catastrophe”

I finished this book ages ago – but for some reason forgot to post the review! Anyway – we’re now in advent, so life feels much more Christmassy – so definitely the right time to purchase and read this – or it would make a great Christmas present.

It was fabulous to go back to catch up with Tara and her family – it felt like visiting friends for Christmas! All of the relationships from the first book are revisited – and Tara’s Mum plays a key role in this book too. Whilst you could read this as a standalone book – I really think it would be better if you’d read the first book so that you know the back story to all of the characters – from Tara’s immediate family, to her friends and work mates.

The relationships are – again – the centrepoint of the book. From the stroppy teenager, to the excitable small child, the grumpy husband, the nightmare boss – all if it is written very well.

Some of the book was quite predictable, some of it completely surprised me – so all in all I really enjoyed it.

Is this book going to win any literary prizes? Probably not. But a bit like how I don’t always want to watch Oscar nominated films – sometimes a funny, relevant, laugh out loud, have a little weep book is what you want – and this fits the bill perfectly.

A big festive thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for my ARC.


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