Random Things Tours – Book Review – Keeping A Christmas Promise by Jo Thomas

“”This is the best hen party ever!” says Laura, as she opens the sun screen, squirts a dollop into her hand, then rubs it over her arms and long legs.”

Genre: Christmas Romance

Number of Pages: 368

Date of Publication: 13 October 2022 (ebook available from 22 September 2022)

Publisher: Penguin

My Review Summary: A heartwarming, poignant story full of love and friendship


Four friends

Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright, full of hope and most importantly guaranteed . . .

One promise

Now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.

A life-changing adventure

They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.

But will the Northern Lights appear so they can honour their friend’s wish? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?


I have read and enjoyed Jo Thomas’ last book, Retreat To The Spanish Sun, so when this one came up I jumped at the chance to be on the tour. I am glad that I got a place as it was an excellent book. 

The writing was poignant, descriptive and emotive. It was a lovely read. I really felt that I was there in Iceland and I loved the food element. The description of the sights and the smells of the food around the characters really added another layer to the story. 

The chapters were fairly short, which gave the story a good pace and kept it moving. There were a lot of different little storylines going on and so you needed the shorter chapters to keep them moving. Whilst there were lots of different little things going on you never got lost and they all tied up well. 

The characters were great. I loved all their individual backstories and the fact that they were all on their own journeys of self discovery. Whilst they were all experiencing the same sort of things it was nice to see how the experience was applied to each character individually. Aside from the three main friends, there were also other characters in the book who had had difficulties, but these were overcome with the sense of community and everybody helping out each other. It really was a magical place!

Lastly the settings. They were incredible. The description was beautiful and really made you feel like you were there! I have been to Iceland before so it was nice to read about it and for it to invoke my own memories of being there. For me the descriptions really made the story. There was a wonderful message behind the story and it was able to shine through with the wonderful description of the settings. 

Overall a great story full of friendship, community and self discovery. I highly recommend reading it!


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“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “easy read”,”entertaining”, “new”, “what book should I read next”, “christmas”, “romance”


10 thoughts on “Random Things Tours – Book Review – Keeping A Christmas Promise by Jo Thomas

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