Title: From All of Us to All of You (Boughs of Evergreen)
Author: Ofelia Gränd
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Genre: contemporary, holiday
Story rating: 4 out of 5
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Release date: November 21, 2014
Source: ARC provided by the author
Blurb: A story from Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology
Simon hates the Holidays. It’s the same every year – awaiting the dreaded Christmas Eve, when his father gets drunk, while the family fake Christmas spirit and strain to hear the TV over Dad’s snoring. This year, Simon’s sister is celebrating Christmas elsewhere, leaving him to deal with their parents on his own. But there’s a glimmer of hope. A work colleague introduces Simon to her son Hannes at the Lucia Day celebrations, the trouble being that Simon mistakenly believes it’s a blind date, and as if that isn’t embarrassing enough, Hannes wants them to be friends, and Simon’s starting to see signals that aren’t there. He’s beginning to wonder if he’ll make it through Christmas with his sanity intact.
Review: From All of Us to All of You is a lovely short story to get you in the holiday spirit. It actually surprised me how much I liked it. It has that typical ‘feel good’ Holiday vibe. It’s cute and sweet and makes you all warm inside.
Maybe I should tell you what this story is about first ey? Well, the blurb give a pretty good idea. Simon really doesn’t like Christmas and how can he when it has that typical fake feeling to it that many people experience. You really don’t like each other, but he, for Christmas you fake how good and wonderful everything and everyone is. Yeah… Poor guy.
This year is different. This year he meets Hannes on what Simon mistakenly believes is a blind date. Things get interesting and complicated at the same time. Will Simon survive this new kind of Christmas or will he long for the one he always gets?
From All of Us to All of You is cute. I can’t help but say that again. Hannes is adorable and Simon a bit on the dark side. He is quite hard on himself so the story has some angst, but just right without it being all dramatic. While Hannes is funny, Simon needs someone to lighten up his life.
The story is very well written with a good balance despite this being a short story. It doesn’t feel rushed at all. Which is good as stories in anthologies often want to tell a full story, but are unable to and thus feel rushed and hurried.
There is a wonderful cultural blend as the story is set in Sweden. For those who worry they can’t follow what’s going on, no worries at all. You can make everything out from the story itself.
Why you should read it: From All of Us to All of You is that wonderful short story that gives you a good feeling about the holidays, even if you don’t like the holidays. It’s short, funny and romantic! Perfect to read under the Christmas tree!