Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sweet Shop of Dreams!

Being practically housebound with my anxiety, I have found reading a great way to make the days go faster and really keep my mind active.
Getting lost in a book is something I can't encourage enough. 
Reading is not only really important for younger minds but it's essential to keep your imagination flowing as you age.
I tend to read loads of books and then something always distracts me but starting now (sort of an early new years resolution) I have vowed to read more frequently and publish reviews to keep up with what I'm reading. 

I previously mentioned a book that I came across while moving some furniture so I decided to make this the subject of my first review. 

*This may unintentionally contain some spoilers*

This book is by Jenny Colgan who I absolutely love. 
I had high expectations after previously reading Talking to Addison which was witty and full of humour.

This book didn't disappoint. 
The story is split between Rosie and her current adventures and Lillian's past. This gives an added dimension to the story which I found really intriguing. 
The story knits together perfectly.

Rosie Hopkins is a modern, city loving woman who thinks country life will be nothing but a drag. 
Her boyfriend Gerard is the sort who doesn't know what he has. He takes Rosie for granted and is a total coward when it comes to commitment but Rosie's fine with that. Or so she thought.

Rosie gets a call from her mother who has a proposition for her. Her great aunt Lillian is deteriorating and needs some help with her sweet shop and her every day life.
Rosie is doubtful but her kind personality shines through and she steps up to the plate.
Little does she know.

Rosie moves in with Lillian in her beautiful home. 
The cottage is like something from a fairy tale and becomes a place of pure escapism from the bustling city life that Rosie has grown so accustomed to. 
The novel is set in a quaint little town that's an ideal setting for any story set to spark nostalgia and wishes of a simpler life.
But as we learn, life hasn't always been simple for Lillian.
Her life has been full of heartbreak and missed opportunities.

Lipton's sweetshop was thriving during wartime and it's here where the tragedy first strikes. 
With war all around it was only a matter of time before her family got a letter that she didn't even need to open but I really wasn't expecting her family to shatter the way it did. 
I think her father really took her for granted at this time and didn't realise how much she was doing for him despite her own grief.
Lillian put her life on hold and ever really got it back.
She never left the town and her brothers never returned through fear of hearing 'the constant echo of the boy who did not come home'.
The tragedy not only kept the family apart but it left every single member nursing their own broken hearts. 
The single shred of relief came from Henry Carr: Lillian's sweetheart and star crossed lover.
The constant fight to be together is heartbreaking and yet again ends in tragedy. 

Love and life hasn't been that easy for Rosie either. 
Although adamant that she and Gerard are the real deal, she soon realizes that the future she is hoping for isn't going to be with mummy's boy Gerard.
This is helped nicely along by several gorgeous men in the village.
One in particular man develops a strong bond with Rosie that magically blooms into something beautiful. 
(I was routing for this to happen from the very first meeting so I was delighted when it finally came together)

The book covers a multitude of topics such as war, grief, love and loss all with great sensitivity and depth. 
One of the best parts was watching the relationship develop between Lillian and Rosie. They're both strong, witty characters that bring out the best and worst in each other. 
The similarities that you notice when you really get into the book are uncanny. 

If you're looking for your own slice of escapism then here it is. This book takes you right into the heart of Lipton with some wonderful characters and beautiful scenery. 
You can also try out some of the sweet recipes that feature in the book as an added bonus.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

'Life in fact is like a bag of revels, you never know what you're going to get and half of it you won't like'

Follow the author on Twitter: @JennyColgan
or alternatively, visit her website 

Thanks for reading
Loubee Lou

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