Review: UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR: A Lady Emily Christmas Story (Lady Emily #13.5)

Happy Monday!

I’m a day late with this post because time isn’t real and I never know what day it is anymore! It’s hard to believe it’s only June 15 honestly, but at the same time I can’t believe it’s already June 15. Time is truly meaningless ever since the lockdowns started.

This week, we’re finishing our Lady Emily review series. I know, I know, it’s tragic. I cannot believe I’ve run out of Lady Emily books, but I’m (im)patiently waiting for Tasha Alexander to announce a preorder link for Book 15. But before we finish, we have two stories left to review.

Today, we’re reviewing the last Lady Emily Christmas Story: UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR. Again, I know how silly it is to be reviewing Christmas stories in June, but hear me out… time isn’t real.

This story follows the Hargreaves family, consisting of Lady Emily, her husband Colin, and their three sons Henry, Richard, and Tom, as they prepare to retreat to the countryside for the holidays. The family is still in London, trying to enjoy the solitude and the shopping when this novella begins. Henry receives a Christmas cracker from a mysterious stranger that resembles Father Christmas, right outside of the toy store. The family is inclined to dismiss the event as a strange act of kindness, until Richard and Tom eventually receive one as well. This little mystery of the Christmas crackers is only one adventure Lady Emily and Colin are faced with this holiday season, though.

A mysterious man arrives, begging for their help in searching for his long-lost daughter. The daughter was whisked away by her grandparents following the death of her mother, years ago. The girl’s grandparents never approved of her father, and blamed him for her mother’s death, but the father has only ever wanted to do right by his family and be reunited with the last living reminders of the love of his life.

In the end, of course, Emily and Colin are successful in reuniting the family in London. It’s a very touching, heartwarming story that I enjoyed very much. I’m very excited to revisit all of these Christmas novellas in December!

I rated this story five out of five stars on Goodreads, and I stand by that review. The story itself was fun, lighthearted and satisfying, and it’s always a treat to see Emily and Colin interact with their boys! I’ve read some criticism about the way Alexander has written the boys, who at this point are 5 and 6 (Henry and Richard are twins at 5, and Tom is their “ward” who is six months older than the boys; however, for all intents and purposes, Tom is just as much their son as Henry and Richard which I love). They do speak very eloquently for such young children, but it’s very reminiscent of Ramses, Amelia Peabody’s son (from the Elizabeth Peters series). I find this more of a fun callback, and it really doesn’t take much away from the story for me.

As always, I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone! Later this week, I’ll be putting up my final Lady Emily review until the next book comes in (hopefully this winter!)

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