A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1)
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A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories #1)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,018 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Readers of Anne Perry’s bestselling suspense novels revel in a world that is all their own, sharing the privileged existence of Britain’s wealthy and powerful elite in West End mansions and great country houses. It is also a world in which danger bides in unsuspected places and the line between good and evil can be razor thin. This new novel features Lady Vespasia Cumming-...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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Ana T.

I found this book a really interesting read.It is set as usual in the Victorian period. Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould attends a house Party with some friends, there is some gossip and some less than friendly emotions going round and when one of the guests - Isobel Alvie - makes a cruel remark to another, that will apparently lead to the suicide of the latter.

As Isobel is shunned and condemned by all except Vespasia the owner of the house as the idea of proposing an expiation journey for Isobel - t...more
Tierney
I thought that the best thing about this book was that it was short. It takes place in mid-19th century high society England - a young girl, Gwendolin, mysteriously drowns during a weekend party and her death is deemed a suicide. The guests ridiculously blame a woman named Isobel for the whole tragedy because of a rude comment she made just before the girl's death - apparently in society England, rude comments are nearly equivalent to attempted murder. Isobel is then sent with a friend on a biza...more
Kellie
I am still scratching my head after reading this one. I read it in an evening. It is a story about a group of “high Society” English people who are spending the holidays at an estate. IT definitely shows the snobby side of the English back in the days when you can hear a lady coming by the sound of her skirts dragging on the floor behind her. Vespasia, a character from one of Perry’s series, is in the midst of a tragedy at the estate when one of the women jumps off a bridge into a pond. Everyone...more
Michele
Although this was certainly not an uplifting & light Christmas tale, it was an excellent read with plenty of application to our lives today. It is the story of a young woman who is made to feel responsible for the death of another woman due to careless and cutting remarks. She is sent on a journey to Scotland to deliver a letter to the mother of the deceased woman in order to be forgiven for the remarks and allowed back into the Victorian society of which she is a part. If she fails, she wil...more
Melissa
The story and major characters are fleshed out well, and "A Christmas Journey" boasts an actual plot unlike the short Christmas-related trifles that many popular authors knock off between novels. The observations of and insights into human beings are interesting and could spark some rumination about deeper subjects. The premise is unusual, though I would note the contrast between Isabel's journey to cleanse her sin and Jesus' coming to cleanse us of our sins because we cannot wipe them clean. St...more
Nicole Romine
A quick, easy read. In this book, you get a superficial psychological mystery. In fact, I felt like I was reading the outline for an interesting novel rather than a fully developed story. The plot develops not through action, but rather through the guessing of the main character. Unsatisfying.
Leilani
Dec 04, 2013 Leilani marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
Hated it... Couldn't even finish. Too many people at the start too confusing. I just couldn't do it.
Ruth
I gave this book two stars because Goodreads says that two stars means "It was ok." That is exactly what it was, just ok. The book is divided into three parts, each shorter and less satistying than the previous. When I first started reading it took me a while to get used to the formality of speech between the characters, but then again, this is Victorian-era England. It started out as a suspenseful whodunnit among the wealthy and titled gentry. Then part two really became a book about internal s...more
Anne Hawn Smith
The plot of this book was an interesting twist on the idea of punishment as attonement. A young woman guest at a stately country mansion insults another young woman who commits suicide later that evening. Everyone agrees that her cutting words could have pushed the vulnerable young woman over the edge and one of the guests contrives a quest which will atone for her ill tempered remarks and, if completed, will bind the other guests to secrecy and render the careless young woman forgiven. The tric...more
Ria
A charming little festive novella.
A Victorian weekend party takes a frightening turn when a brief altercation after dinner throws up spite and jealousy thereby inciting one of the guests involved to commit suicide.
Isobel Alvie in a brief moment of envy and malice accuses Gwendolen Kilmuir of trying to "hook" one of the other affluent guests, spat over the guests again go about enjoying themselves until the next morning when Gwendolyn is found dead in the ornamental lake.
The guests instantly accu...more
Alice
Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec La Disparue de Noël?

"Voilà quelques temps maintenant que je dévore tout ce que je peux lire de la plume d'Anne Perry. Malheureusement, lorsque je l'ai connue, on ne trouvait déjà plus certains de ses récits de Noël. Quand j'ai trouvé celui-ci d'occasion mais en parfait état, j'ai sauté sur l'opportunité et je l'ai dévoré en terrasse, vue sur Notre-Dame de Paris."

Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son histoire...


"Lorsque la jeune veuve, Gwen...more
Christie
Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould hesitated a moment at the top of the stairs.

Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould is enjoying a Christmas party outside of London when a young lady turns up dead from an apparent suicide. Prior to taking her own life the lady had been insulted by Isobel Alvie, her rival in love. All party guests believe Isobel is to blame. Their host comes up with a plan to keep Isobel from being a social outcast while still punishing her for her part in Gwendolen's suicide. Isobel is sent on...more
Karen
This was a book club selection, chosen because of the Christmas theme for our December meeting. The story took place during the Christmas season, but it really didn't have much to do with Christmas. The book read more like a short story than a novel to me. There were parts where another author might go into much more detail, but in this case, less detail did not hamper the story. I also understood this to be a suspense novel, but I didn't find it very suspenseful. All that aside, it was a nice l...more
Jess Swann
Ce livre est le tout premier de la longue série de "contes de Noel" publiés par Anne Perry depuis quelques années. Comme c'est devenu la règle l'intrigue est centrée sur l'un des personnages secondaires récurrents de l'une des deux principales séries d'Anne Perry. Cette fois, c'est l'excentrique Lady Vespasia, protectrice de Pitt et mentor de Charlotte qui s'y colle. L'intérêt réside dans le fait que l'on découvre une Vespasia jeune ( ça change et on en apprend plus sur le personnage et ses rela...more
Kathy
Last night, I read one of Anne Perry's short Christmas mystery novels, A Christmas Journey. According to what I read, this was the first of what has become an annual tradition of Ms. Perry, a holiday-themed novella. This one was less a mystery, and more a personal journey for one of the female characters, Isobel, a lady of Victorian High Society, whose jealousy leads to her making some cutting remarks toward Gwendolyn, a young widow on the brink of remarrying. Isobel's hurtful comments are belie...more
Susan
A Christmas Journey is the first book of the Christmas mystery series by Anne Perry. The story is set in England and Scotland early in December, mid-19th century, when war in the Crimea was only a future possibility.

The story features young Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, barely past 30 years old with young children. Lady Vespasia attends a weekend house party at Applecross, the country house of Omegus Jones. The dozen guests include older couples from ranking society, plus 2 young widows and 2 el...more
The Book Maven
Meh; I found this book rather mediocre. I love Christmas, and therefore love Christmas novels, but I have a realistic view of them: like Christmas albums by famous musicians, Christmas novels by famous authors do not showcase their talent, but rather hop on the cash-horse that is Christmas.

Perhaps my expectations were too high; I think what I was looking for were some insights on how Christmas was celebrated by the Victorians. No such luck here.

Also, this book was less twisty than Perry's other...more
Karschtl
Since the title fits the current season I finally read the little book. Set (but not written) 150 years ago; and the manners, customs and moral standards of the people were quite different back then.

A young lady, already widowed and about to remarry, is throwing herself off a bridge and into a lake. And that apparently only because of a cruel remark of another lady (also a widow and in some hope to marry the man in question herself). As a kind of atonement this lady with the sharp tongue has to...more
Kate Baxter
It is a cold December weekend at Applecross, the English country estate of Omegus Jones. His guests are dressed in their finery and have gathered for dinner. A cruel remark by one guest is made of another - a young widow just beginning to socialize again, who appeared to be destined for a marriage proposal over the weekend.

But alas, the next morning, the young widow's body is pulled from the estate's lake - apparent suicide. Isobel Alvie, was perceived to have driven widow, Gwendolen Kilmuir, to...more
Jennifer
A super, quick read. I wanted to reread the first Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery, but it was checked out. Since I hadn't read any of this series, I thought I would give it a try. So many things are glossed over or just hinted at, so it wasn't as satisfying as a full mystery novel, but I don't think that was the point. A nice reminder at the end of mercy and the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Hollydabchotmail.com
Victorian mystery featuring one of its more interesting characters, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould.
This book is a series. I enjoyed the book and it is found in the adult section. It is a book about an expiation—for a suicide that was commited.
I would not stop my students from reading the novel.
The main idea that I disagreed with in the book was the feminist idea that it is okay for married women to have feelings for other men. The novel does not focus on this, but I am assuming Anne Perry, a woma...more
Anna
This story features a young Lady Vespasia, who later in her life becomes the companion, defender, and patron of Charlotte and Thomas Pitt.

Vespasia is attending a house party near Christmas time and a young woman in the party commits suicide by throwing herself off a bridge into a lake on the property. The guests blame a friend of Vespasia, Lady Isobel, for the suicide since the evening prior, Isobel had made a rude and spiteful comment to the victim.

Isobel and Vespasia embark on a trip to Scotla...more
Lorraine
Lady Vispasia, aunt of Charlotte Pitt, in a story from her youth. While at a house party, a cruel remark to a young widow causes her to commit suicide by drowning herself. The group present will never mention this again if the offending speaker, Isabel, takes the dead woman's final letter to her mother. Vispasia agrees to travel with her, as they need to go to Inverness in Northern Scotland in December. When they finally arrive at the lady's home, they learn she has not lived there for a year an...more
Charla Wilson
This is the first Anne Perry Book that I have read, however, it will not be the last. I loved the imagery, the victorian era, the story line and the fact that it was a short read! Lady Vespasia(what a name!)is attending a dinner with many other wealthy folks and one lady insults another lady in front of everyone. The insulted lady is then found drowned, an apparent suicide. It is assumed it is because of the insult. Lady Vespasia and the insulter are sent on a trip of atonement to the see the de...more
Caren
a lot goes on in this little book! I could have used a list of players, I got confused more than once on who was who. I blame my lack of attention, not the writer. I enjoyed the book, it was well written and had lots of detail. I felt a shiver as they were plodding through the frozen bog of Scotland. I had difficulty getting to know any of the characters. They were not forthcoming in emotion, they all wore a mask to hide their inner self. Of course with people as board as the super weatlhy of th...more
Arthur
I figured rather too much too obvious in this psychological thriller. If you read this story and pitted its story against other well written, it will pale in comparison. It seems confusing and boring writing and is taunt and opaque. But I could feel chills and emotion enough to hope for the fulfillment of this story, and on and on and to become Christmas. One season we are all already very familiar with. I'm not sure that this story has everything a story wishes, it is not seamy or deep, and it...more
Kirsti
This is a mystery/historical novel/quest/buddy story/fish-out-of-water tale/novel of manners. With elements of romance. That's a lot to fit into 180 rather wee pages (or three audio CDs). The heroine's name is Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, which is practically half a page in itself, and she is irritatingly close to perfect. So, yeah, not much to recommend it, but I stuck around till the end, since that was coming up fast anyway. Plus there was snow! And Shetland ponies!!

One interesting thing: I w...more
Judy
First in the series of short Christmas novels by Anne Perry and this book features a very young Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, who is a character in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. At a Christmas house party, a young woman commits suicide and another young woman is blamed for the death and shunned by the rest of the company. She, along with Vespasia, set out for the Scottish Highlands to find the dead woman's mother, explain what happened, and bring her back for her daughter's funeral. Along...more
Peggy
This short Christmas time story takes place in Victorian England and Scotland. While attending a social outing at the estate of Omegus Jones, an invited guest either commits suicide or is murdered. When a note is found addressed to the victim's mother, suicide is the popular belief. Another guest, Isobel Alvie had made an accusatory remark to the victim which caused some discomfort and embarrassment which may have led to the suicide. It was decided by the group gathered that Isobel needed to exp...more
LJ
A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY – G+
Anne Perry – Standalone
This is a novella starring Aunt Vespasia, in her younger days. While attending an elegant Christmas houseparty in a country mansion, a young woman commits suicide. Another woman deemed responsible is forced on a pilgrimage, accompanied by Vespasia, through storms and snowdrifts to Northern Scotland to find the mother of the dead woman and, incidentally the truth behind the suicide. It was nice not to have the Inner Circle or a political conspiracy....more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry", the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several cate...more
More about Anne Perry...
The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1) The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1) Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2) A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2) Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)

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