Tuesday 31 December 2019

The Christmas Hypothesis - Anna Blix

Fifteen years at the North Pole.

Niklas has dedicated his life to science, but is still waiting for the big breakthrough when he will finally get the recognition he deserves…

And on top of that he has an embarrassing problem. Every year before Christmas, he receives a huge amount of misdirected post — children’s wish lists to Santa Claus.

When Niklas loses his funding he tumbles into an identity crisis. If he isn’t the brilliant scientist he has fancied himself, then who is he?

He follows one of the letters to London. There he meets Scottish reindeer herder Clare, who hates everything about Christmas…

and his eccentric landlady Mrs Dollimore, who believes that those letters were not misdirected at all, and that Niklas is the real Santa Claus...

There’s only one way to find out! Together they come up with The Christmas Hypothesis.

The Christmas Hypothesis is the funny and heart-warming story of a lost man who sets out to find purpose in life. Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project, The Hundred Year Old Man and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

What did I think?

A man called Niklas living at the North Pole is naturally going to get A LOT of post in December, and so we meet our hero of The Christmas Hypothesis: not omnipresent Saint Nicholas but Finnish Niklas Heikkinen.  What starts off as meeting a very annoying anti-social man soon becomes a heartwarming festive tale and it certainly warmed the cockles of my heart.

Niklas is one of those people who seem to be busy doing nothing and he's got away with it for quite some time, until after 15 years of producing absolutely nothing from the North Pole science station his funding is withdrawn and he is forced to leave.  With no family at home in Finland he hops on a plane to London hoping to work out what to do next.  Unfortunately, Mary and Joseph had more luck finding a room in Bethlehem than Nicklas did of finding a hotel room in London in December.  Then fate intervenes, or maybe it was a sprinkling of Christmas magic that sees him knocking on the door of Mrs. Dollimore's B&B at the dead of night.  

Niklas arrives at Mrs. Dollimore's with a letter addressed to Santa in his pocket and Mrs. Dollimore is convinced that he wouldn't have received it unless he was the real Santa.  Niklas and Mrs. Dollimore come up with a scientific experiment to prove whether or not he is Santa.  As the test criteria get ticked off, even the acquisition of a reindeer, and Christmas approaches Niklas just needs to do one final thing: deliver a present to Sophie, the letter writer, but she didn't put her address on the letter.  Science and Christmas magic can sort that one out, surely?

I really loved seeing the development of Niklas' character.  I must admit he really annoyed me at first with his lethargic work ethic and lack of camaraderie but as the story progressed we do see another side to him.  He doesn't really have many people skills but he certainly brings some fun and friendship to Mrs. Dollimore's life and he practically doubles his social circle overnight after a literal run in with reindeer herder, Clare.

Whether you think it's fate or Christmas magic, The Christmas Hypothesis is a charming story; perfect to read on a magical Christmas Eve snuggled up by the fire.  Heartwarming and delightful, with a sprinkling of magic, The Christmas Hypothesis is the perfect festive read.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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