Sunday, 29 November 2015

Little Beach Street Bakery and Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Little Beach Street Bakery

"Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their flat, she has to move miles away from everyone, to a sleepy little seaside resort in Cornwall, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.
And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it. 
Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers."

Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery

"Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle. 
And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence. 
Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?"

I started to read the Little Beach Street Bakery and it instantly became apparent that there was a first book.  I wanted desperately to read it first, for fear of missing out on anything really, and I am so glad that I did.  The Little Beach Street Bakery allows you to fall in love over and over again and it is one of my favourites of 2015!  Although not necessary, I would really recommend reading the books in order rather than delving straight into the most recent.

Jenny Colgan transports you instantly to every location of these books; the imagery is fantastic.  I loved the very first puffin scene more than anything and they just get cuter and cuter.  

I have to admit, I think I preferred Little Beach Street Bakery as it was so special.  However, it was lovely to catch up with Polly and the others in the follow up.  The trouble with reading one straight after the other is the second book does have quite a lot of 'repeats' as Jenny makes sure you haven't missed out on anything if you haven't read the first book or gives you a gentle reminder if its been a while since you read the first.  I found this slowed the pace down slightly, detracting from the enjoyment to a degree as it interrupts you immersing yourself in the story.

Having read both Little Beach Street Bakery and Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery, I feel like I have lived a whole lifetime with Polly but it simply isn't enough.  I miss her, I miss Neil, I miss Polbearne....Jenny, can we have a return visit anytime soon?

A magical book, packed full of sadness and hope and reasons to live your dream... These books would make lovely relaxing holiday reads!

Both Little Beach Street Bakery and Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery are out now.  You can grab yourself copies here: