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Festive Spirits: Three Christmas Stories

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  565 ratings  ·  70 reviews
The perfect Christmas gift: three festive tales from the brilliant pen of Kate Atkinson.
Hardcover, 68 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  565 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I have been reading a short story each day.

It says it has 80 pages when in fact it’s 68. The rest are taken up advertising her other books.

Lots love Kate Atkinson's books. I thought I’d try with her small festive collection.
I can see why her books are loved by many. Her writing in well presented and flows really well for us readers.

The first story.

ᒪᑌᑕY’ᔕ ᗪᗩY

This was a great little story about Lucy and her “motherhood”. Food for thought.

I loved a quote from Lucy in this story.
Lucy had met her h
Katie Lumsden
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely few short stories, very festive and fun. I love the way Kate Atkinson writes.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kate Atkinson is one of my favorite writers. I also love Christmas-themed books. Fiction for Christmas is limited primarily to romance novels (I don't read them), mysteries (mostly cozies that are not my first choice), and short stories, my first choice. These three stories feature a family with four challenging children, an older couple obsessed with social status, and finally a middle-aged man, with only one friend and a dog. A quick and entertaining read. ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Festive Spirits is a collection of three Christmas-themed short stories by popular British author, Kate Atkinson.
In Lucy’s Day, a heretofore atheist mother finds something incredibly moving about seeing her feral girls and her placid baby boy (as the Christ child) in the school’s Nativity play.
In Festive Spirit, the unappreciated wife of an MP has some enchanted help in putting him in his place.
In Small Mercies, a single son faces his first Christmas alone.
Three excellent little doses of Atkins
Ernestasia Siahaan
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The short stories here highlights how the festive season can actually be painful, especially when we’d gone through a hard year. It’s the time of year that often makes us contemplative - how’d I get to this point in life? Is this what I’d wanted all along?

My favorite story in this book was “Festive Spirits”, because of its mistery at the end. The other two were ok, a bit depressing lol.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Marvellous. Short and perfectly formed.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
My first Kate Atkinson and a positive introduction. This isn't a cheery Christmas collection but I enjoyed it a lot. I particularly liked the final sorry - Small Mercies - which highlighted how lonely Christmas can be. The final line made me tear up. Highly recommended. ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sometimes it can be hard to carve out reading time in the run up to Christmas, but Kate Atkinson’s Festive Spirits is a wry, pocket-sized collection of only three short stories that will brighten any dark December day. Great to read with a coffee, or as a little gift, or perhaps a stocking filler. Atkinson’s writing is as sharp as a Christmas tangerine – ‘Beatrice, Maude and Millie – had been furious babies, red-faced, clutching their fists like tiny boxers, bellowing their way through the dark ...more
Kate Haymes
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it
A few fun, festive short stories to get me over the 20 books in 2020 goal 🎉
Alison S
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed these stories. Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite authors, and I think she excels at writing short stories. Three very quirky takes on the festive season.
Katie Townsend
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ordinary....but that's the point. These beautifully written stories allow brief immersion into three ordinary lives. Given the length (or shortness) of the stories you would only expect a glimpse but KA swiftly narrates these lives using relationships, everyday activities and touches of irony.

This book lost 1 star because it was incredibly short. There were 68 pages of fairly large print. Although the stories worked as they were, they were over far too quickly and double the length would have f
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Normally I like Kate Atkinson and the stories themselves are fine.

But I wouldn’t give this as a Christmas present. Except to someone that hates Christmas or that I didn’t like very much.

All very depressing.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing work from Kate Atkinson; all three of the stories here are reasonable slices of life but fail to really say anything interesting or new.
Good surface level prose but definitely lacking the inpact of her full-length novels.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice little pick me up. The last story was perfectly Christmassy.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very slim book with gigantic writing.....Atkinson is amazing :)
Dec 22, 2019 rated it did not like it

In a word, dull. Unfortunately all 3 stories felt very mundane to me - I wouldn’t recommend this book as a Christmas present!
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely little collection of stories from the wonderful Kate Atkinson.
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Maybe it’s because I’m reading this in July rather than at Christmas. I’ve stumbled upon this book whilst hunkered down in a bothy in rainy Cumbria during Covid-19. I’m a fan of short stories and Christmas but this book felt a bit underwhelming. The story that bears the same title as the book was by far my favourite. The tone is delightfully British (bleak) and very contemporary (could become very dated)
Sonia Gensler
I'm terribly fond of Atkinson's books, but I have a quibble with the word "Festive" in the title of this one. The stories seemed a bit dark to me. It's very likely I had the wrong expectations, for in all her stories there's always something dark lurking over the characters. I will read this again and probably have an entirely different experience. ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
These three stories are very well written and get a lot across even through they are very (VERY) short. On the downside I felt that only one of the three had a beginning, middle and end. I loved the first stories but felt disappointed at the end as I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never did.
What a lot of people have said about these stories is that they aren't very festive or 'Christmasy' but I liked this as for a lot of people Christmas is a lonely and depressing time. Whoop, who
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really quick read if you want some festive themed short stories. Enjoy the way Kate Atkinson writes and these were no different. They make a change from the romantic Christmas stories you usually get.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A collection of three short stories exploring the festive season as experienced by three different characters. Well written and nicely observed, and a quick read. Nice twist in a be of the stories too!!
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book contains three short stories connected to the festive season. It took me around half an hour to wander through this gem. A pleasant read with money from the sale of the book going to charity.
A.K. Biggins
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very welcome Christmas gift. Loved it.
Karen Ross
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I bought this tiny gem last festive season and kept it until now, just the panacea for festive overload. Three well penned festive vignettes.
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Very quick and easy read!
Laura B
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Engaging enough, but not up to Kate Atkinson's usual standard, imo. ...more
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lovely little book, maybe a bit too little! With enjoyable witty and poignant stories. Resolution for 2021 to read more from this author.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
I love Kate Atkinson and I enjoyed these little festive tales. I would have enjoyed them more if they were slightly longer, but then I guess they wouldn't be short stories then! ...more
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Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and she has been a critically acclaimed international bestselling author ever since.

She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories,

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