#FridayFiveChallenge : ‘December’ by Elizabeth H Winthrop @rosieamber1

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge


Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

November is here and we’re on the way to Christmas. Although I love the sunshine, in warmer countries than the UK, I do love this time of year in England, when it’s cold and dark outside and you can stay cosy inside. And I’ve always loved Bonfire Night. So I searched for ‘Fireworks’. I wasn’t sure why this came up at first but the beautiful cover caught my eye straight away:


Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

Price: £4.99 (kindle) £7.99 (paperback) in the UK (322 pages), $7.70 (kindle) $14.33 (paperback) in the US.

Book Description

Eleven-year-old Isabelle hasn’t spoken in nine months, and as December begins the situation is getting desperate. Her mother has stopped work to devote herself to her daughter’s care. Four psychiatrists have already given up on her, and her school will not take her back in the New Year. Her parents are frantically trying to understand what has happened so they can help their child, but they cannot escape the thought of darker possibilities. What if Isabelle is damaged beyond their reach? Will she never speak again? Is it their fault? As they spiral around Isabelle’s impenetrable silence, she herself emerges as a bright young girl in need of help yet too terrified to ask for it.

By the talented young author of FIREWORKS, this is a compelling, ultimately uplifting novel about a family in crisis, showing the delicate web that connects a husband and wife, parents and children, and how easily it can tear.

(so that’s where the fireworks came in!)


There are thirty-four reviews on Amazon.co.uk, fairly evenly distributed between 1-5 stars, which is quite unusual, and seventeen reviews on Amazon.com, slightly more positive here.

The positive reviews really speak to me -this one in particular:

It’s not an action packed read by any means but filled two return commuter journeys into London easily. For maximum effect it should be read when exceptionally cold and snowing. The weather matched the mood of the novel perfectly. I was warmed up however by the characters who felt real – this is a story about the day to day difficulties of a family with a troubled daughter during a month period – December. If you are looking for a relaxing stress free winter read by the fire with a mug of cocoa this is for you. Wrap up warm you’ll feel the cold when reading it! Nothing of any great significance happens, nevertheless it’s a moving story and well written.

Other reviewers say they were completely absorbed by the narrative and praise the skill of the writing. Some of the negative reviews object to the bad language in the book – this really doesn’t bother me. The negative reviews mainly refer to the slow pace and also the main character who they see as spoilt and selfish.

Buy or pass? Yet another BUY


The cover is just beautiful and so evocative of winter. I can imagine curling up on a cold day to read this. Although, as it’s set in New York, I may well take it with me to read on the plane when we go there just before Christmas. Reviewers point out the realistic detail and description of December in New York so this could be perfect for the trip. And the conflicting reviews intrigue me, as does the subject matter. I love character driven novels, and a slow pace, if written beautifully, can be as compelling and as absorbing as a book full of drama and conflict.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

And you might find a new book in one of these Friday Five Challenge posts:

Rosie’s in the outback

Shelley’s back at school

Cathy’s feeling autumnal

Liz is looking at architecture




  1. I adore the cover and, like you, am more enticed by well written prose and mood than a fast pace. I’d really like to read this; the 4.99 price tag puts me off, but if it’s on Kindle Unlimited I’ll download it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The cover is beautiful but the storyline is at bit close to home for me. My daughter stopped speaking when my marriage collapsed, and I had more teacher-parent meetings over it than anything else! She came out of it on her own but it was a tough time. It would be a pass from me today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely love this cover and I am intrigued by the book but the Kindle price is too much when I have so much else to read – however I shall put it on my Pinterest TBR as I might get back to it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful cover! Yes I will buy it too… my imagination was immediately caught by the little girl who doesnt speak, being the mother of another little girl who doesnt speak! Intriguing premise for what sounds like an unusual story.

    Liked by 1 person

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