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Summary

The most perfect Christmas feel-good listen!

Eve Glace - co-owner of the theme park Winterworld - is having a baby, and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband, Jacques, should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp and Christmas ceremony that was missing from the first time round. But things keep going wrong in Winterworld - is it because the the usually competent site manager, Effin Williams, has lost his focus, or is there something more sinister going on? 

Annie Pandoro and her husband, Joe, own a small Christmas cracker factory and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable. 

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will give her a helping hand out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple split up just after she finds out she is pregnant, she is left carrying the baby.

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

The brand-new novel from the Sunday Times best-selling author of The Perfectly Imperfect Woman; a gorgeous listen full of love, life, laughter - and crackers! 

©2018 Milly Johnson (P)2018 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"Every time you discover a new Milly book, it’s like finding a pot of gold." (Heat) 

"A glorious, heartfelt novel." (Rowan Coleman)

"Absolutely loved it. Milly's writing is like getting a big hug with just the right amount of bite underneath. I was rooting for Bonnie from the start." (Jane Fallon)

What listeners say about The Mother of All Christmases

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Brilliant just brilliant!!!!

Oh dear what a rollercoaster of a book. You laugh you cry but most of all thoroughly enjoy it. I loved all the characters and hope to read about how their lives progress from here.

This must be my absolute favourite book by milly so far.

Roll on the next book ❤️

6 people found this helpful

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Not feel good, but loads of problems with facts

I can not recommend this book.
It is all about pregnancy and I can only hope no baby will be hurt by the way things a portrayed in this book. And no couple stays childless. I also do not like portraying not taking birth control seriously as normal.
And nobody will think that you can put off getting pregnant until you are 48. Girls 30 is the limit, not 40!
There are just things that are so off:
A NHS paid group for mothers, based on the idea of a GP.
Right, A GP just will have to have an idea and the NHS will pay the midwives to do so.
Obviously this group is life changing, But I repeat: the NHS does not offer it.

And then the facts.
After one meeting about pregnancy myths a pregnant woman rushes home to stuff herself with cheese. There is no take home message which cheeses you should not eat in pregnancy and why (those made from raw milk, unpasteurised milk are the dangerous ones, for example brie or camembert).
And colouring your hair or taking several paracetamol as pain relief is done without a second thought. It is probably all right, but there a there are studies linking paracetamol use in pregnancy to behavioural issues and the rule should be, if in doubt, just do not take medicine or take any risks whilst pregnant.

Then there is the issue of poverty.
Where I also think the author's morals are wide off.
There are people so poor that the think toilet paper rolls are worth stealing.
Which is condemned.
Also condemned is taking benefits.
And you have to be very grateful for a minimum wage job. And very good at it, And do work that normally pays twice the minimum wage with great enthusiasm.
And taking overtime pay cash in hand is ok.
So basically it is ok for business owners to pay overtime cash in hand, which is most likely done to cheat the taxman, but truly poor people should never ever apply for benefits that they are legally entitled to.

The story is partially about getting out of poverty.
But since you cannot take benefits, you have to be a) lucky and b) take any job offered. Looking closer at the story the people making it have luck by meeting better off people giving them a helping hand, and this makes me angry, since this whole thing means, you are a bad person if you need to take benefits so you can not better yourself if you are not a lucky person who meets the right people at the right time.

Then the authors morals, It seems to be ok not to go to the police if you know something about a murder if the murder victim would habe been murdered at some point anyway and deserved to die. Gangs are a fact of life and you better keep you mouth shut about them. Do we want to turn UK into Italy? This is madness.

Then there is the issue of surrogacy.
If you still want to listen you might not want to read on (because you might judge this as a spoiler).
The surrogate is willing to carry a baby for 5000 Pounds to propel her out of poverty.
This makes me so angry.
It is described as against the law and a lot of money.
How on earth a one off 5000 Pounds can help you out of poverty when it means going through a pregnancy, getting to hospital, eating extra healthy is beyond me.
And it is described as against the law and partially as blackmail for making the people who are ordering the baby pay.
Again the author has her facts not researched.
Yes, You are not allowed to pay for surrogacy in UK (the rate in US would be 25 000 Dollars).
But you are allowed to pay expenses and they are set at 12 000- 20 000 Pounds.
So this whole story line is just wrong all over.
And who would do such a thing without a single line of written contract?

The narrator can not pronounce German. From other reviews I gather that the Welsh is also wrong. There is a lot of untranslated Welsh in the book. Presumably most of it swearing. But why write stuff, people will not understand?

4 people found this helpful

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Too many storylines and characters

Milly Johnson always writes with great humour and has a great gift for making you sympathise with the characters. There were some heartwarming - and heartbreaking moments. I really felt for the principal character, Parma (Palma?) But I found the constant introduction of folk from previous novels and all the mini-themes a bit overwhelming. Would rather have read this as two or three different books than squashed into one.

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Great Christmas read!

Loved this story! Such w feel good, heart warming tale. Narration very good. Would thoroughly recommend. Will definitely read more books by this author.

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A busy story

At times I felt a bit lost or found it hard to follow with So many characters. There was always something going on with someone. However what a lovely story. Makes you laugh out loud and bawl your eyes out. Amazing welsh too!

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lovely story

Made me laugh and cry. lovely story of strangers coming together for a common purpose

1 person found this helpful

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A Good Book with one Disappointment

I've listened to almost all of Millie Johnson's books over the last few weeks & have only had praise. My disappointment was with Colleen Prendergast in this book.
I listened to A Winter's Flame & loved all the characters, however on hearing Jacque Glass's accent in this book it had changed from Yorkshire to very well spoken. Maybe Colleen should have revisited that book before narrating this book. Only something so small spoilt it for me.
I would recommend this book except for that point.

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Loved every minute

If I had to pick a favourite Milly Johnson I think it would be this one-I love it when familiar characters turn up in other books and this one certainly doesn’t let you down. I wouldn’t advise listening to the audio book while driving though as while laughing then sobbing I missed my junction,sad it had to end absolutely loved it and highly recommend.

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A lovely listen

A lovely story full of lots of different emotions. Milly Johnson doesn't dissapoint. There are lots of detailed stories which all connect. The narrator is great although I have to up the listening speed. I would recommend this book!
From Mrs Cole in Bristol

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  • G
  • 09-01-22

Brilliant story

I love Milly Johnson’s books and Colleen Prendergast is the perfect narrator for them. Funny and sad in parts but overall a happy read and one mothers can relate to in every way.

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  • Jan
  • 29-03-19

The Mother of All Christmases

The Mother of All Christmases. This was a good story as usual with a great narrater As in the first book. Eve though still seems a bit on the selfish side for instance not telling her husband when she finds out she is pregnant. She is not my favourite. The other characters are great. I had to keep giving it a break as the ridiculous comments on the Daily Trumpet drive me crazy
The first one or two comments a few books ago were ok but now they are just completely stupid. I think they are supposed to be funny but I just find them so annoying. It puts me off Milly's books. So I just take ages to get through them by keep taking a break.

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  • Fred Duzan
  • 09-01-19

Not a good Christmas Story

It started out extremely slow and not even understandable where the story was going. I finally gave up on listening to it.

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  • Tanya
  • 17-11-18

The Best!

Milly Johnson delivers another book to make you laugh and cry. I always enjoy her stories and if you're an avid reader of hers, you'll recognize a number of characters and the Daily Trumpet. Please never change the editor of that paper. I laugh until I cry at those corrections. The narrator is wonderful, as always and again, as always, I was terribly sad to reach the end of the book!