Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery #1) by Jenny Colgan
Publication Date : March 13th 2014
Publisher : Sphere
Genre : Chick-lit
Pages : 416
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.
Little Beach Street Bakery was lovely chick-lit, first book in series, that revolved around Polly’s attempt to start new life and how she opened a bakery at Little Beach Street of Polbearne island. It was about being free from burden and rat race, following bliss and happiness, belongingness, friendship, and love.
I had this book, in fact whole series and other books by Jenny Colgan, for almost a year and now I’m kicking myself for not reading it earlier. Writing was absolutely lovely, heart-warming and delicious. It was written in third person narrative from Polly’s and occasionally secondary characters’ perspective.
Plot was interesting. Like most chick-lit, it started with sadness and misery of heartbreak. Polly and Chris’s relationship failed with their business, bank took everything they built to pay off their debt. Defeated and miserable, wanting to be away from people’ pitiful eyes Polly moved to Polbearne where rent was cheap, all she needed to do was find a job. Well, she didn’t find job she was looking for so she started working for Gillian Manse who was only baker (but worst backer) of Polbearne, was also her landlady, and they disliked each other. You can say she was horrible boss but things worked out well, she made friends and found love but all is not as simple as it sounds. There was betrayal, loss, and heartbreak.
I loved Polly. At first, she was so gloomy and sad, I thought please don’t give me miserable character but when she moved to Polbearne, I saw different side of her. Happy, lively and who thought she could be witty and sarcastic as well! She was caring and compassionate character and in just few months she became part of community and won heart of people with her delicious bread and also made enemy- Gillian Manse. I didn’t hope she could win her heart anytime soon but I loved reading Polly’s view about Gillian and how it changed once she knew her story and experienced her pain.
All secondary characters were interesting. I liked them all at the end, even that ex of Polly and Gillian. They all were flawed but realistic and relatable.
Setting was second best part of the book. Polbearne was quaint, beautiful, picturesque village with its close-knit community who loved and wanted to preserve their tradition, away from rat race and nuisance of city life. When Polly visited her flat above closed bakery in Polbearne with Kerensa, her best friend, I agreed with Kerensa. That flat was shabby, cold, disgusting and needed lot of work. There was nothing good about it except view of ocean and fresh air. At first it gave a ghost town vibe but once she started cleaning flat and wandering abound, it sounded more beautiful and peaceful. I could see why she would feel happiness and belongingness at this place.
I loved description of fishermen’s life, bee-keeper’s cottage and his work, puffin century and Reuben’s beach and his house. As I read more, I could see why locals didn’t want the bridge over the causeway connecting it to Plymouth.
Best part of the story was Neil- the puffin, Polly’s pet and all chapters that included this little guy. He brought smile on my face more than any other characters. And another best part was Polly’s bakery and her bread, her love for baking and quality bread. And there are recipes at the end of the book.
Romance was slow built. It was balanced with Polly’s life and her bakery perfectly and wasn’t simple as there were two suitors- Tarnie and Huckle. Both flirting with Polly but nothing serious until tragedy engulfed Polbearne. I liked reading Polly and Huckle’s growing friendship and feelings but they messed things near climax- here came conversation trope. I didn’t like their decisions and everything happened between them till the end just stretched the story but still I enjoyed it.
Climax was interesting with marriage in America. Marriage scene with Star Wars theme was fun to read. I didn’t like Huckle and the way he was planning things without even thinking about Polly’s happiness. I loved Polly for making right decision. I knew how this will end but didn’t think it would take time for Huckle to come to his sense. End was romantic and lovely.
Overall, Little Beach Street Bakery refreshing, hear warming, and feel good chick lit with picturesque setting and delicious mouth-watering bread.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my review, have you read this book already or going to add it to TBR. Which is your favourite book set in Cornwall?
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