Love, Holly by Emily Stone is a book full of hope, reconciliation, and family. This emotional story follows the lives of Holly, Jack, and Emma as their paths cross in multiple seasons. All three characters, having experienced loss, realize their need for each other and for forgiveness.
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Author: Emily Stone
Narrator: Heather Long
Pub. Date: Sep. 26, 2023
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Spice: 2 hearts
Content Warnings: car accident, miscarriage, infertility, death, grief, cancer, hospital scene, fade to black sex
Ever since a car accident tore her family apart, Holly has been part of a lonely-hearts holiday letter-writing club. Each December, she writes to a stranger who is also spending Christmas alone, and receives a letter from another lonely person in return.
Usually, the letters go unanswered. That’s the point–the letters are anonymous, and the senders write whatever is in their heart. But this year, the letter Holly receives is different; not only is the letter full of a grief she knows all too well, but its writer, Emma, mentions a place that Holly has visited. When she realizes that she might actually be able to find the letter’s author, Holly becomes determined to reunite Emma with the estranged grandson, Jack, with whom Emma is desperate to reconnect.
When Holly finally tracks him down, she remembers that she’s met Jack once before . . . and the connection was electric. The spark between the two of them is still there–until a misunderstanding risks their burgeoning romance and his strained relationship with Emma, too. But Holly is determined; if she can fix Emma’s family, she might also be able to fix her own. Though as it turns out, Holly might have less time to put things right than she thought.
Spoiler-Free Book Review
Thank you to NetGalley and PRH Audio for the complimentary copies of this book. All opinions are my own.
While this book is marketed as a romance with a focus on Christmas, I don’t think those elements play a very big role in the story. I still enjoyed it, but I would classify it as more of contemporary fiction with a focus on character growth.
What I Liked
- What really made me enjoy this story was the characters and the relationships between them. I loved seeing them forgive and grow to love one another.
- While this book is filled with hope, it is quite a bit sad at times and deals with some heavy topics such as cancer, death, grief, and infertility.
What I Didn’t Like
- I wish this book wasn’t marketed as a romance since that really isn’t what this book is about
- I also didn’t love that one of the characters went out with someone when they were still married
I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys a focus on characters over plot, second chances, the importance of family, and England as a setting.
Also, if you’re a fan of audiobooks, I really enjoyed listening to the narrator for this book. I think she did a great job with the voices and had a British accent, which fit the setting.
Where to Purchase
You can purchase a copy of this book at the following retailers:
Bookshop.org (supports independent book stores) [affiliate]
Libro.fm (audiobooks that support independent book stores) [affiliate]
Books a Million (BAM) [affiliate]
Have you read Love, Holly or any other books by Emily Stone?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment down below.