Jenny Colgan’s novels are unique, fun, reads that lift my spirits. Her heroines are able to make their way through the tough times of life through their own ingenuity and love of baking.
Polly Waterford has made the Little Beach Street Bakery a success on the small island of Mount Polbearne off the coast of Cornwall. She has purchased the lighthouse and is living there happily with her American boyfriend Huckle, and their pet puffin, Neil.
All good things are not meant to last and Polly, Huckle, and Neil find themselves in a series of crises that threatens to separate them. Will Polly be able to save her bakery and keep the flame of love burning with Huckle? Will Neil find his way back home?
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, but I loved it. I loved the many points of crisis, but more importantly, I loved Polly’s pluck and determination. She has her low moments, but she is able to think through new ideas and try new things to make it through. I also love her love of cooking. Reading this novel really made me want to eat some newly baked bread or pastry. There are some tasty recipes included at the end of the novel.
I love Polly’s pet puffin Neil. I wasn’t really sure what a puffin looked like so I looked on Google. They sure are cute! I soon found myself looking at all sorts of puffin pictures and watching puffin videos with my kids. They are addicting, as is Neil. Neil wandered into Polly’s life in Little Beach Street Bakery. He is a wild bird and shouldn’t be a pet, but his love for Polly brings him back to her after she puts him in a puffin sanctuary. Polly loves Neil and the entire island loves him as well. After his life is put in peril, Polly realizes that she may need to let Neil go again for his happiness and well-being.
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery as wonderful unique characters. I feel like I would love to just hang out with them eating fish and chips on the island. From the hard working fishermen, to bakery workers Jayden and Flora, to rich and brash Reuben and his new bride Kerensa, I love them all.
I also love the setting. Mount Polbearne is based on the real island of St. Michael's Mount. It is a tidal island that you can only access two times of the day by a causeway. I would love to visit this island – it looks beautiful.
I read Little Beach Street Bakery a year or so ago, but this novel could stand on its own. There is a handy “A Word from Jenny” at the start of the novel that gets you up to speed with what happened in the previous novel. There is also a first chapter of Little Beach Street Bakery included at the end of the book.
Overall, Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is a great summer read with wonderful characters, a great setting, and lots of tasty food. I highly recommend this book – it got me through the stress of grading during finals week!
As a Game of Thrones fan which I was religiously with my husband, I loved the following quote in this novel:
"Don't take this the wrong way," she said.
"Uh-oh," said Huckle. "Are you going to watch Game of Thrones without me?"
"No!" said Polly, horrified. "God, I would never do that to you! The betrayal!"
Book Source: Review Copy from William Morrow – Thanks!