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Every Time a Bell Rings

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  141 reviews
An angel gets its wings…

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.

As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 19th 2015 by One More Chapter (first published October 15th 2015)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  867 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Irena BookDustMagic
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Trigger warning: This book talks about child loss.

Every Time a Bell Rings was on my wishlist for the longest time, and this year I decided to grant my wish and bought myself a nice paperback to start a festive season. It was my first Christmas read of 2018 and I am so glad I chose this novel to be the one, because I loved it so much.

Fist advice that I'd give to everyone who wants to read it is to avoid synopsis on the back (or on Goodreads, and yeah, I know I am guilty of pasting those here) bec
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of those books where it is best not to read the product description, as it gives just a little too much away, and at first glance can seem quite downbeat, whereas this is a really heartwarming, joyous, Christmassy read that is best entered into cold so that all its magic can just flow out of the pages at you.

I have a real weakness for Irish fiction, I grew up with Maeve Binchy and this story has the same feel to it as one of her books, colourful and warm Irish characters with
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
This was a lovely read which flowed at good pace. Part romance, part drama and a dash of yule tide make this the perfect book for Christmas time reading. Filled with real characters facing the same ups and downs in life as you and me, the story is one of hopeful inspiration, mixed with a healthy dose of heartwarming charm. Although it's a bit sad at times I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to reading more books by Carmel Harrington. ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
This broke my heart as it hit on a lot of subjects that are personal and painful for me. But I loved it. Carmel nails emotional stories and makes me fall in love with her characters. And she makes me believe, believe that life can be magic, believe in fate and believe that we all have a purpose.

If you need some Christmas cheer, then this is the book to snuggle up with.
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

"Every Time a Bell Rings" is my Carmel Harrington's first book - no need to explain why, as you know it as well as I do: time, or rather lack of it. I've seen many raving reviews for this book and it awoke my curiosity, so as soon as I've noticed it on NetGalley, I downloaded it to my kindle and almost immediately started reading it. "Every Time a Bell Rings" is based on the author's favourite film, "It's a Wonderful Life" and I must immediately fess up that I haven't seen it, but truly, I didn'
Margaret Madden
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, irish-fiction
4.5 stars
Christmas. A time of family, festivities and fun. Or is it? What happens when you are about to lose someone you love? Belle and Jim are wishing they could skip Christmas this year. As foster parents, they are about to say goodbye to their foster daughter, Lauren, who is returning to her mother. The couple have first hand experience of foster care, but with two very different outcomes. Belle is feeling disillusioned with being a foster parent and the couple fight. A tragic accident leads
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
As I’ve mentioned before, this year we are inundated with a whole host of yummy looking Christmas books, but it’s SO hard to choose which ones I want to read as there’s just no way I can read them all! So, when I heard about Every Time A Bell Rings, I was intrigued enough to add it to my ‘must – read’ list for this Christmas.

Every Time A Bell Rings is loosely based on the Christmas film It’s A Wonderful Life and having never seen the film before, I was a little concerned I wouldn’t qui
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've bought all 3 of Carmel's books but so far this is the only one I have been able to get to - and what a wonderful read it is.

We meet Belle Bailey and Jim Looney when they are young children, and together in a foster home. Belle in particular had a horrible time, being passed from one home to another until she was fostered by the kindly Tess and she finally found someone that loved her.

We meet up again with Belle and Jim many years later. They have both become foster parents themselves. Their
Kitvaria Sarene
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one!
I didn't click too much with the beginning, that seemed to be the conclusion of the book.
It turned out to be a glimpse of about middle of the book, and quite a lot happened afterwards too.
It has quite some harsh topics in it (foster homes, neglected children, loosing a baby), but it was still a non depressing read, that had me smiling throughout the story and definitely a feel good ending.
I loved a part that felt a bit like Dickens to me.

It had more substance to it tha
Lynn Marie Hulsman
My first Christmas read of 2015 is Carmel Harrington's EVERY TIME A BELL RINGS. I was eager to read this book after having loved BEYOND GRACE'S RAINBOW and THIS LIFE YOU LEFT. On top of that, this novel is an homage to the film "It's a Wonderful Life," and I, like so many people, found the questions raised by that classic to be life-changers. Harrington skillfully borrows the envelope from the movie, while adding both a modern-day perspective and a woman's point of view.

I will admit that I had
Katey Lovell
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow. But be assured, this is one heck of an emotional read. Prepare to have those heartstrings yanked at!


Oh why is it so hard to review a book you really loved? It should be so incredibly effortless to string together a run of superlatives and reiterate the key points in a book in just the right way to create a review that encourages everyone who reads it that this is a book they must read.

But for me these reviews are the most difficult to write, maybe because of some i
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
This story draws you into its world; the ending is as enchanting, as its characters.

The story centers on Belle, a tossed-around, often-forgotten, bi-racial child of the foster care system whose longest-term relationships include a mother who never wanted to see her born, and a cold, clinical social worker named Mrs. O'Reilly. She trusts no one but the one constant in her life, her beloved doll Dee Dee. She has never been allowed to make choices or have opinions, and saying what she thinks has ne
Rachel Gilbey
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was mildly apprehensive going into this book purely because I knew it was inspired by It's A Wonderful Life, which is one of the classic Christmas movies I have never seen. I need not have worried as clearly you need absolutely no knowledge of the film to enjoy this book, and it's also dawned on me that I have seen a different film that is also based in parts on key scenes from It's A Wonderful Life.

This is such a beautifully written book, and such a fabulous story that will tug at every emoti
Jane Hunt
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

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I eagerly anticipated reading this book and it proved to be the perfect early Christmas present. Full of charming sentiment, realistic life stories and characters so authentic, you expect them to be sitting in the room with you.
Belle is an engaging and courageous child, who becomes an outwardly strong woman; hiding her guilt, lack of self esteem and vulnerability, even from those closest
Shaz Goodwin
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing

How to start? Carmel's responses to my Q&A on e-book publication day had me really eager to start reading Every Time A Bell Rings but I didn't realise quite how much I would love it! I want to tell you every single thing about it (but of course I won't!).

The beginning of the story was unique. How many novels do you know that start with a HEA moment? No, me neither! This would have to be the one that was on the top of my list for the most romantic prologue
Immediate confession time. I have never seen It's A Wonderful Life. I know, I know. Sacriledge, especially for such a huge Christmas lover (as I am). I know the basic story of course - who doesn't? Even with no strong feelings towards the beloved festive flick, I still knew Carmel was treading on hallowed ground... but I never doubted her for a minute, having loved her two previous novels; I knew my festive feels were in great hands.

I LOVED Belle from the get go, as a young adult, as a child, a
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A sublime piece of writing by Carmel. This book encapsulates so many varying feelings and has its hold on you until the very last page. Thank goodness for kind, generous, warmhearted people, thank goodness for Carmel. 5 stars
Lynda Kelly
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author does irritate me !! This is the third book I've read by her and each story is easily a 5* read but every book has awful presentation with dumb mistakes all the way through. Either her publisher or editor or proofreader is letting her down's such a bloody shame.
I've never seen It's A Wonderful Life all the way through but know the story and it's nice she brought it up-to-date here and knowing this I picked now to read it. It's a lovely story and of course, being Chris
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Posted in full

Carmel Harrington is an author whose books I wholeheartedly adore and so a Christmas book from Carmel was a doubly exciting thing, since festive books are my absolute favourites and should be read all year round, I reckon. Well, though I was expecting great things from Every Time a Bell Rings, I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be as insanely good as it was. The pure enchanting, beautiful content to this story took my breath away. The writ
Every Time a Bell Rings is a perfect Christmas season book, which of course can be read at anytime of the year as well. It explores fostering children and the difference it can make to young people's lives. Belle and Jim are such children and grow into people who in turn become foster parents. Yet they hold special wounds that need healing and love is the answer. Long, patient love. The book has a link to the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" which I haven't seen but will look up. However it did rem ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Parts 1 and 2. Part 3 was sweet... saccharine sweet.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Take the phone off the hook, put on your comfiest pj's, line up some snacks and your favourite tipple, then wrap yourself up all snuggly and get ready to lose yourself in the world of Belle and Jim! I want to shout from the rooftops 'hooray! Carmel is back and her writing is as magical as ever!'.

Every Time A Bell Rings is a truly beautiful story of love, family, loss, overcoming adversity, and never giving up, that will leave you with a warm glow and a sense that happiness and magic. I loved th
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard about this book a couple of months ago I knew it was one I had to read. It is very loosely based on the film It's A Wonderful Life which just happens to be my favourite film ever. If you haven't seen the film, it won't affect your enjoyment of this book but go and watch it immediately! In a similar way to the film, the majority of this book is telling of the life of the main character, in this case Belle. Belle was fostered as a child by the wonderfully compassionate Tess who ...more
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I've been so rubbish with my Christmas reading this year! So rubbish in fact that I'm soon going to throw the towel in, share some reviews from my lovely blogging friends, and start reading for my January reviews. But of all the Christmas reads I could have chosen to squeeze in, I'm so delighted I chose Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington - published by Harper Impulse, and available in paperback and for Kindle, this book was pretty near perfect.

I'm sure everyone knows by now that it was
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The prologue is the perfect beginning of this book. It introduces us the happy couple Belle and Jim. They are so cute together and I just couldn’t wait to get to know them better. This opening is gripping and sweet.

When the actual story starts we jump some years back, a lot actually, back to when Belle and Jim were kids. Belle was living at her newest foster home with Tess and then she wished for a best friend. Suddenly there he is
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on:> http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot....

Where do I even begin to describe how much I adored Every Time a Bell Rings?! Inspired by the beautiful film that is It's a Wonderful Life, comes the story of Belle, who has to make the hardest decision of her life on the Ha'Penny Bridge in Dublin.

I may still have a few Christmas books to read but I think it is safe to say that Every Time a Bell Rings has become my all time favourite Christmas story. I simply fell in love with everyt
Nicola Clough
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book by this author and it's brilliant I loved it so much and didn't want it to end and the characters are excellent and so many twists and turns it has you gripped and you never know what the ending with be so want to keep reading. Full of families and warmth while heartwarming and full of Christmas and being happy in yourself and not letting the past live your life.
Bella arrives at a new foster home just in time for Christmas she's moved round so much but she has one wish to
Rosie Amber
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Everytime the Bell Rings is a Christmas themed romance. The story opens with Belle and Jim on Christmas Eve 2005 in Dublin, both love the craziness of Christmas.

Then the book steps back 17 years to December 1988. 8 Year old Belle is being taken to a new foster home, she's afraid and has stopped talking, but the love shown to her by Tess her new foster mother allows Belle to feel safe and secure and she begins to talk. Her one Christmas wish is for a new best friend and this soon comes in the fo
Cat Hogan
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a real fan of Carmel Harrington. I thoroughly enjoyed BEYOND GRACES RAINBOW and THE LIFE YOU LEFT. I counted down the days to the release of EVERYTIME A BELL RINGS, cleared the decks, got the kids to bed and started to read. It was simply wonderful. I fell in love with Belle and Jim. I laughed and cried with them and when the book ended, they stayed with me. What did I take away with me from this story, a nod to the timeless movie 'Its a Wonderful Life'... I'm blessed to have my life with m ...more
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
4.5 stars
Full of Irish warmth and the spirit of Christmas. This book pulled at my heart strings and is now one of my all time favourite Christmas stories.
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International bestseller Carmel Harrington writes issue-driven popular fiction. From Co. Wexford, she lives in a small village with her husband Roger, two children Amelia and Nate, and their rescue dog, George Bailey.

Her uplifting and inspiring books, all regular chart-toppers, have captured the hearts of readers worldwide and are translated into eight languages to date, in eleven territories. Pub

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