REVIEW: Love, Holly by Emily Stone

Posted December 8th, 2023 by in Blog, Holiday Titles, Review, Women's Fic - Chick-lit / 6 comments


In Love, Holly by Emily Stone, Feeling lonely during the holidays is nothing new to Holly since a tragic car accident caused her to be estranged from her family a few years ago. To cope with her grief, she’s become part of a club that writes letters to others who are spending Christmas on their own. This year, the letter Holly receives connects with her in two ways. One is that the letter’s author, Emma, also fell out of touch with her family after a car wreck in the past. And the second is the mention of a cafe that holds both good and bad memories for Holly. Resolved to try her best and make sure Emma doesn’t spend the holiday feeling alone, she also endeavors to find Jack, Emma’s grandson. Although she couldn’t have dreamed it was the same handsome man she briefly met a couple of years ago–a guy she hasn’t forgotten to this day.

‘Some people you know for a lifetime, but they never really make an imprint on your soul–and some people you only have to know for an instant to know they will be part of you forever.’

Jack will admit he still thinks about the spunky redhead he once met at a cafe in the tiny village near his grandmother’s house. A day that ended quite differently than he had expected it to. A lot has changed since then. And while he’s firmly entrenched in the London scene, Jack still longs to get back to the countryside and possibly even reconnect with his grandmother, Emma. But the time never seems right to sit down and talk it out with the woman he used to adore when he was a child. Until Holly barrels into his life urging him to visit Emma before it’s too late. Jack isn’t so sure she’ll want to see him, let alone reconcile, after nearly two decades. Although, just like with his growing feelings for Holly, if he doesn’t take the chance then he might end up regretting it for the rest of his life.

“I don’t believe in fate.”
“Really?” Jack asked, with a hint of a smile. “Even after all this? Give me a chance, Holly. Give us a chance. What have you got to lose?”

In true Emily Stone fashion, LOVE, HOLLY carefully and intricately connected its characters’ lives together all while stomping on my heart and then (eventually) dusting it off. And honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

“I think we were always meant to find each other.”

CW: View Spoiler »

An absolutely lovely, deeply emotional story, LOVE, HOLLY didn’t pull any punches when it came to what Emily Stone put her characters through to earn their HEA. Told from Holly and Jack’s alternating POVs, this explored not only their blossoming friendship-slash-romance, but also the way their lives intersected with Jack’s grandmother Emma’s. And this was a cleverly written novel. One that will likely have readers thinking about serendipity and fate as well as sympathizing with the characters over the things that are sometimes left unsaid between loved ones. Things that can cause a rift within families and friendships–as it certainly did for Jack, Holly, and Emma.

Set mainly in England, with a quick jump to Ireland and Italy, I thought LOVE HOLLY’s premise was an intriguing one: Holly pens an anonymous letter at the holidays to a fellow lonely person in the UK as part of a writing club. What she ends up getting is much more than just an outlet for her feelings of grief and guilt over a car wreck a few years prior. Instead, Holly got two new friends to bond with–and a romantic interest who was her match in every way. And while she made a few blunders, Holly got all of the big things right. Especially when it came to being there for those she loved. Some might argue she gave people too much space. But I think she had Jack, Emma, and her sister Lily’s best interests at heart the whole time.

Jack was such a terrific hero. Thoughtful, genuine, and methodical (compared to Holly’s chaotic style, lol), he spent time struggling to reconcile a tragic event from the past as seen through his eyes as a child, to then learning about how things really happened. My heart went out to Jack–and Emma–as the truth came out. It was heartwarming to watch as the lines of communication opened up, to see how everything sorted itself. And even though the ending was bittersweet, Emily Stone brought things around full circle in the most touching of ways.

QOTD: Do you ever write physical letters to friends or loved ones?

Book Info:

Publication: Published: September 26th, 2023 | Dell |

A young woman tries to heal a rift in her elderly pen pal’s family in time for Christmas, all while falling in love—and maybe even reuniting with her own family—in this dazzling romance from the author of Always, in December and One Last Gift

Sometimes it takes a stranger to bring you back to yourself.

Ever since a car accident tore her family apart, Holly has been part of a lonely-hearts holiday letter–writing club. Each December, she writes to a stranger who is also spending Christmas alone, and receives a letter from another lonely person in return.

Usually, the letters go unanswered. That’s the point—the letters are anonymous, and the senders write whatever is in their heart. But this year, the letter Holly receives is different; not only is the letter full of a grief she knows all too well, but its writer, Emma, mentions a place that Holly has visited. When she realizes that she might actually be able to find the letter’s author, Holly becomes determined to reunite Emma with the estranged grandson, Jack, with whom Emma is desperate to reconnect.

When Holly finally tracks him down, she remembers that she’s met Jack once before . . . and the connection was electric. The spark between the two of them is still there—until a misunderstanding risks their burgeoning romance and his strained relationship with Emma, too. But Holly is determined; if she can fix Emma’s family, she might also be able to fix her own. Though as it turns out, Holly might have less time to put things right than she thought.



6 Responses to “REVIEW: Love, Holly by Emily Stone”

  1. Amy R

    Do you ever write physical letters to friends or loved ones? No
    Thanks for the review.

  2. Glenda M

    I used to do so all the time. It is very rare these past few years.

  3. Latesha B.

    Sounds like a great story. Thank you for the review. I do still write the occasional letter.