• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 22, 2016)
For fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Jojo Moyes, and Jane Green, Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is an irresistible novel—moving and funny, soulful and sweet—about happiness, heartache, and hope. And recipes.
A thriving bakery. A lighthouse to call home. A handsome beekeeper. A pet puffin. These are the things that Polly Waterford can call her own. This is the beautiful life she leads on a tiny island off the southern coast of England.
But clouds are gathering on the horizon. A stranger threatens to ruin Polly’s business. Her beloved boyfriend seems to be leading a secret life. And the arrival of a newcomer—a bereft widow desperately searching for a fresh start—forces Polly to reconsider the choices she’s made, even as she tries to help her new friend through grief.
Unpredictable and unforgettable, this delightful novel will make you laugh, cry, and long for a lighthouse of your own.
Buy, read, and discuss this book.
About the author, Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including Little Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.
I’ve always wanted to live in a lighthouse. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve always wanted to live in the keeper’s cottage adjacent to a lighthouse, but living in an actual lighthouse would be pretty cool, as a secondary option, so I totally appreciated Polly’s decision to buy one and move in.
While Polly was fixing up her new home, I felt like I was visiting an old one. The first Little Beach Street novel hooked me from the start, so diving into this story, seeing where Polly and Huckleberry, and Neal the Puffin, and all the other familiar characters had landed in the intervening months really was like visiting my favorite summer haunt. Author Jenny Colgan did a great job of letting the characters evolve a bit, without really changing them drastically. You felt that they were still in mourning for Tarnie, you felt that time had passed, but you also felt the familiar salt spray and smelled the homey aroma of Polly’s baking.
Then, too, were the new characters, Jayden among them, who enriched both Polly’s world and the story itself. I loved that he would “try to only eat one” of the pastries he loved – it was an adorable and very realistic detail.
But inside the cozy setting and familiar relationships, Colgan tucks some deeper moments – the very real process of mourning a loved one is looked at through Polly’s eyes, as well as those of Tarnie’s widow, and it’s both the similarities and the differences in the two women that really takes this book beyond “beach reading” into something a little bit more meaningful. As much as I’m happy to read almost anything that involves a coastal setting and the kinds of characters who inhabit such villages, I also appreciate it when a novel addresses real issues. In the first book it was Polly’s process of starting a new life and a new business.
In this one, it was about moving forward and adapting to loss as well as change.
An added bonus: Colgan has a great knack for making places come alive. I’ve never been to Cornwall, but after reading her novels, I’m sure that if I do get to visit that region someday, I’ll feel echoes of familiarity surrounding me.
Goes well with a mug of coffee and a fresh-from -the-oven pastry, seasoned with a stiff sea breeze.
Tuesday, March 22nd: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, March 23rd: BookNAround
Thursday, March 24th: A Bookworm’s World
Friday, March 25th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, March 28th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, March 29th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Tuesday, March 29th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, March 31st: Bibliotica
Monday, April 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, April 5th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, April 6th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, April 7th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, April 8th: Broken Teepee