Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: Amid the ruins of her latest relationship, Polly Waterford moves far away to the sleepy seaside resort of Polbearne, where she lives in a small, lonely flat above an abandoned shop.
To distract her from her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, and the local honey-courtesy of a handsome local beekeeper. Drawing on reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes . . . and discovers a bright new life where she least expected it.
When I read chick lit, I read Brit chick lit and so I was very happy & satisfied with this one. Adored it & will definitely read the next in the series. Polly was a character I rooted for from the start and I very much wanted things to work out for her. She had a tough go with bankruptcy and the break-up with Chris (who I thought was a first class twerp most of the story but who had a redemptive salvo) and while things didn't just go perfectly for her when she moved to Polbearne it was still a considerable improvement. From the first loaf of bread that she made complete with her own tears, I was swept away. Neil, the puffin brought a first friend and much needed levity & also something to care for. I loved meeting the fishermen. I thought Tarnie had better romantic chemistry with Polly but I can see why Huckle had to be the one in the end (hopefully his & Polly's romantic chemistry is better in the next book). Gillian was from hell and even when I found out what ailed her psyche, I still didn't feel that justified the horrible way she treated everyone (who the hell tries to outlaw bagels for an entire town?!). She acted like she'd cornered the market on a hard life and took it out on everyone else and they all cowered and kowtowed to her! I liked that Polly felt charitable pity for Gilllian and her situation because I'd none to give. I did like how the two were sort of in a lifeboat situation for work and how that gave Polly the space to bake and thrive that she needed. I liked Huckle and his friend Reuben (who I just knew was going to be the perfect match for Kerensa).
Polbearne was an adorable setting and described beautifully even in the off-season full of likable characters that I didn't want to leave just yet. I enjoyed reading about it and very much look forward to the next installment. I'd definitely recommend this one for a weekend or vacation read (perhaps in a sleepy seaside).
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