Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Read in 2016 - 22: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

"Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan is actually the 2nd book about the principal characters of the story, but I have not read the 1st one and it can very well stand alone.

Polly, her boyfriend and their tame puffin have recently moved into the lighthouse on a tidal island off Cornwall. It is a most unusual - and certainly not very comfortable - dwelling with each small circular room on its own floor and many, many stairs to run up and down every day.

At the bottom of the lighthouse, next to the fishing harbour, is Polly's bakery. Strictly speaking, it is not hers, but belongs to an elderly lady. Polly runs the bakery successfully and has made many friends among the locals. When the elderly lady dies, her daughter and grandson, both neither living on nor fond of the island, inherit the property.

Difficulties ensue, and soon Polly sees her whole world falling apart: Her boyfriend has to go back to the US to step in for his brother on the family farm, she is thrown out of the bakery and needs to find another means to earn a living (and pay the mortgage on the lighthouse), and to top it all off, her pet puffin has to go to the wildlife station for re-habitation in the wild where it belongs.

A cast of more or less credible (and some rather stereotype) characters make sure the book is not boring. Some twists and turns are foreseeable, others less so. It all culminates in a night so stormy and dangerous nobody on the island can remember anything like it. As Polly faces real life-threatening danger, all her other problems seem less significant. When the sun shines again, it does so in a metaphorical way, too.

I must admit I was not overly fond of Polly or any of the other characters, nor did the puffin's cuteness melt my heart. But I put that down less to the author's writing than to my mindset these days. Maybe I simply wasn't in the mood for something you could call typical chick-lit.
The book is certainly pleasant and easy reading; if you allow it, it can even become something of a page-turner at times. But the allover impression it left on my mind was simply not deep enough, I'm afraid.

It wasn't my first Jenny Colgan read and possibly won't be my last, but I am not actively looking for more of her books; it's my mother-in-law who sent this to me, probably having several more piled up for me when I arrive in Yorkshire next week :-)


  1. Wow seems really interesting and little mysterious story ,I enjoyed reading every line dear,hope your mother in law send you more to share with us

    1. She always sends me plenty of books, both for my birthday and for Christmas, and sometimes even in between - and on top of that, she usually has a pile waiting for me when I come over on holiday :-)