I’m fast becoming fan of Jenny Colgan and this was just second book I read by her. Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery was light-hearted, refreshing sequel to Little Beach Street Bakery, set on Cornish Island with close-knit community and delicious breads. Just perfect cozy summer read.
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery #2) by Jenny Colgan
Publication Date : February 26th 2015
Publisher : Sphere
Genre : Women’s Fiction / Chick-Lit
Pages : 448
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?
Previous Book in Series
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery was lovely and cosy chick-lit that revolved around Polly and all the dramas and trouble she faced after buying lighthouse and running bakery at Little Beach Street. The story was about ups and downs of life, struggle with sudden change in business and life, home, friendship, letting go of your loved ones to do right thing and trusting your feelings they might return one day, hope, love, and community.
Writing was beautiful, vivid, and refreshing. It was third person narrative from Polly’s and occasionally Huckle’s perspective. The setting of Mount Polbearne, a Cornish seaside town was amazing.
Plot was great and just as delicious as Polly’s breads. First chapter gave the overview on happened in previous book that brushed up my memory but I wouldn’t advice to read this out of order as you wouldn’t get characters and connection between them if you haven’t read first book.
Polly was having perfect dream life. She now had her own house (to everyone astonishment a four-storey light house), a handsome American boyfriend-Huckle (who got some sense and came back to Polly and his bee-keeping business), and Neil- the Puffin (who also to Patrick, the vet’s astonishment came back to Polly from sanctuary), and her bakery (technically Mrs Manse’s bakery who handed over the management of bakery to Polly, took retirement, and went to live with her sister). Polly was rolling in money and mortgage of the lighthouse was taking chunk of what she was earning but she had peaceful contented life. She thought nothing can go wrong in her life now. uh-oh! just when character think that way big trouble enters in life.
Mrs Manse just passed away, her sister Janet thinks Polly took advantage of her, was sending her son to keep an eye on her and the bakery, and there sure was going to be big changes. Tarnie’s widow, Selina is coming back to town who doesn’t know about Polly and her husband’s brief affair! Series of events made her jobless, puffin-less and Huckle-less. Don’t worry nothing tragic happened but she had to take Neil back to sanctuary and Huckle went to his family farm in America to support Polly and earn some money for both of them.
It was amazing to read how Polly was going to cope without Beach Street Bakery, how she would start business from scratch, how she was going to live alone in her tower as she was no Rapunzel, and how absence of Huckle would test their relationship.
I loved reading both old new characters. Polly was artisan baker and a lovely developed character. I loved her passion for baking, seeing good in everyone, her love for Mount Polbearne, its people, Neil and Huckle. She was amazing friend and employer. But few times she did make me annoyed- I didn’t like her for not confronting Malcom, cowering from his bullying, and for not standing up for herself. Apart from these few points I loved her. Oh, and she was amazing at the time of problems, not just with bakery but with what town faced in climax.
Huckle was lovely. I loved him for what he decided to do to help her start business, standing by her and providing all emotional support. But he too was a bit annoying. I didn’t like him for staying longer than necessary. I mean it was great he was doing right thing for his family but honestly it wasn’t his responsibility and he should have been firm about it. And I can’t imagine how Clemmie couldn’t see he too had life somewhere!
All secondary characters were interesting. Patrick -the vet, I can’t wait to see his reaction to what happened at the end in next book. Jayden, Polly’s employee, who was cute and lovely and he finally managed to charm a lady younger than 60. Kerensa and her husband- Reuben for being themselves. They too had their share of trouble but supported Polly in any way they could. Selina was also great even though I didn’t like what she did without hearing Polly’s side of story but I liked the message of learning to live life once again, making peace with past and learning to live again through her story. Quirky Flora who believed her beauty was curse and always forgot the tide schedule. Neil the puffin was the star of the story. He was such cute chubby puffin. I wish I too could have a bird like him as pet to whom I don’t have to put in cage and still have him around all the time.
The best part of the book was of course Neil but I made it pretty clear already so another best part was setting. I’m in love with this isolated, no Wi-Fi, poor mobile network, close-knit community took care of each other whose business depended on mainlander but they always had ‘mainlander vs islander’ argument and had many reasons why they didn’t want bridge connecting island to city (which was more discussed in previous book), amazing but unpredictable weather, heritage sites, and hard but peaceful life. And Polly’s baking was another fabulous thing happened to island and this book. Whenever it was mentioned, it made me hungry.
This book wasn’t heavy on romance, kind of mix of chick-Lit and women’s fiction, but there were few lovely romantic scenes that I enjoyed reading. I loved scenes when Polly was interviewed, she went to get ‘Nan the van’, and everything from climax to end.
Climax was interesting. I could easily guess who made graffiti but what happened next until end was surprising. I loved every pages in last few chapters. I admired Polly more for what she and Selina did, enjoyed how Huckle realised his foolishness, and what they discovered just before Huckle’s proposal. End was so lovely, uplifting, and there are recipes at the end of the book you wouldn’t want to miss.
Why 4.5 stars-
Not a big thing but as I said, few times I wanted to shake both Polly and Huckle and I have to say previous book was just best.
Overall, Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery was light-hearted, refreshing, delightful, and delicious chick-lit that I recommend to those who love this genre, want a relaxing cozy summer read that is not heavy on romance, and who love artisan baked food.
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…
- What do you think about this book and review?
- Have you read any other book by the same author?
- Which summer book you are excited to read?
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