Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Sweetshop of Dreams

Sweetshop of Dreams: A Novel with RecipesAuthor: Jenny Colgan
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Series: Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop # 1

Were you a sherbet lemon or chocolate lime fan? Soft chewy ones or hard boiled sweeties (you do get more for your money that way)? The jangle of your pocket money… the rustle of the pink and green striped paper bag…

Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong.

Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton s sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. As she struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, she also wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully colored sweets.

Welcome to Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop of Dreams, a novel, with recipes.

“I think love is caramel. Sweet and fragrant; always welcome. It is the gentle golden color of a setting harvest sun; the warmth of a squeezed embrace; the easy melting of two souls into one and a taste that lingers even when everything else has melted away. Once tasted it is never forgotten.” 

“That didn't sound much like a date, Rosie thought. Useful wasn't a word you used about a date. It was a word you used about a stapler.” 

Piñatas on the other hand are heathen monstrosities and have no place in a civilized society.” 

My sweet tooth led me to this book. No, really it did. I find myself diving into books with recipes all the time and to be honest there could be nothing cozier to me than to read a charming book that revolves around food, especially sweets. Jenny Colgan brings a story in which adventures ensue and dreams come true. Rosie is charged with the task of helping her ailing aunt save her once flourishing sweet shop. Rosie leaves a lot behind, including a dull and mundane relationship with her longtime boyfriend in order to help her aunt get back on her feet again. She discovers more about herself on this adventure than she could have every hoped to, but she realizes that some changes must be made for the better in her own life!

The storyline moves at such a gentle pace and the writing is very lyrical and detailed. We get alternate viewpoints between Rosie and her Aunt Lilian that also alternate between the past and the present. Rosie’s journey is highly enjoyable and really inspirational. She reminds me so much of Bridget Jones with her quirky, funny actions. She is unhappy in many stations in her life. In fact, she has reached somewhat of a standstill in her love life, work life, and just her overall happiness. It was so nice to see Rosie grow and change. She is such a loveable and she really will grow on you the more time you devote to her story, just like Bridget Jones.

The sweetshop of dreams is nothing if not an inspirational book in which you will walk away with more wisdom than you had before you started reading it. Lilian is such a remarkable secondary character who really points Rosie in the right direction and offers some amazing advice for readers as well. This book is a wonderful treat for a hot summer afternoon and would definitely be the perfect beach read as well. There is a little something for everyone wrapped up in its pages and it will help us all see that everyone needs a little help once in a while!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Sourcebooks Landmark in exchange for my honest review***

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