Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Publishing Date: 20th October 2016
Series: Little Beach Street Bakery #3
Number of pages: 354
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine…
It’s Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne – a time for family, friends and feasting.
Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She’s at her happiest when she’s creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She’s determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn’t always work out as planned…
When Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly’s past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that’s not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?
Guys, really, I love Jenny Colgan more and more, and her every new release is better than the last one, and soon I will have to rate the books with 10 stars or more. Even though I wasn’t the lucky one to receive a review copy of “Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery”, without hesitation I clicked the “buy” button on Amazon because I knew that with this novel the author is for sure going to take me back to a lovely, full of warmth place and larger – than – life, cordial and sincere characters, and this is what I needed so much!
There was a basic introduction to the book at the beginning of this story, or a quick reminder to those who read the previous novels, and also the author mentions things that happened before, so yes, I would say you could read “Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery” as a stand – alone novel but please do read the first two books! You can’t imagine how much you’d be missing without reading them! And as I not only love Jenny Colgan but I love the Little Beach Street Bakery books so much it breaks my heart to see that it is the last book in the series (though the author herself says “probably the last one” – so maybe there is hope!!!) – there is so much potential in the characters and I would love to see more about Polly and Huckle. These two are the perfect couple, don’t you think? Their relationship is so honest and so genuine, with all the awkward moments, the problems and the way they act and react, and the dialogues are just so spot on!
Polly is still working at her bakery, baking all sorts of incredibly sounding breads and cakes, and you know, I read a lot of books that centre around food, but Jenny Colgan always manages to make my mouth literally water and she makes me to long to transform myself into a domestic goddess baking ciabatta or spelt bread like crazy. I already have a Jenny Colgan apron, so actually nothing prevents it, right? Polly lives in a lighthouse with Huckle and, of course, we can’t forget about the most important character in the story – namely Neil the Puffin! This book just wouldn’t be the same without Neil – this time slightly overweight and behaving probably like a dog, but that’s just Neil and guys, there is going to be a third children’s book featuring Neil! I personally can’t wait. Neil and his “eeeps” just made me go weak at the knees and he’s not only funny, but he’s Polly’s real solace and he always knows when she’s sad. Huckle wants to take their relationship (I mean, Polly and Huckle’s, not Neil and Huckle’s) this one step further but there is something holding Polly back – what is it? Cold feet or something more? And is Huckle going to wait until she eventually decides?
This book also centres around Polly’s friend Kerensa and her eccentric but – please let me say this – with a golden heart – husband Reuben. Kerensa might have made a mistake that can turn to be a real problem with huge consequences. She needs Polly more than ever, but can Polly keep Kerensa’s secret, as she and Huckle don’t have any?
You know what, I think that if you showed me the book without telling me who’s the author, I’d immediately be able to tell that it’s Jenny Colgan – her writing style is so special and it’s her hallmark and she can really put into words feelings and emotions that I’ve no idea you can at all describe! There is a spark, a flair in Jenny Colgan’s writing. It is warm and so descriptive without being too patronising or without focusing too much on things that are significant but overdoing them. The writing style and the storytelling make you feel welcome and keep you glued to the pages and in the end “Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery” is this kind of book that you want to read for ever and ever but finds yourself finishing it in a few sittings. I was completely absorbed in this story and I desperately wanted to know how it’s all going to end – the many subplots that added so much charm were truly hooking, and it was funny and poignant at the same time. The characters are facing many, many problems, nothing runs smoothly to be honest, but the way they deal with those problems is not only realistic but also convincing and I often found myself nodding my head and feeling I’d do the same.
It was absolutely brilliant to catch up with the Mount Polbearne characters and with this island village itself. I didn’t have any problems to catch up with all the characters, it truly felt as if I was back with good, old friends of mine. Polly was always there for her friends, and it was a lovely aspect of her – even when she put all of them before herself. But it was also great to see that those friends were also there for Polly. This story mentions probably all of the characters that have ever entered the scenes of the Little Beach Street Bakery series, and even the puffin sanctuary has a problem this time! We, of course, keep to see Jayden who’s baking with Polly, there is Serena, who now lives in a flat above the bakery and somehow this really felt as if Jenny Colgan is tying up all the loose ends. This time also the author gives a deeper insight into Polly’s background and even though it somehow didn’t sit with me so well, as it felt so sudden, it was also poignant and made me feel the history has just went round in circles.
Jenny Colgan can also wonderfully put into words her love to Cornwall and its wild and moody beauty. And Mount Polbearne itself, where the tide can prevent you from leaving the island or coming back home – hard but it has its appeal!
One of the subplots in the book was the fact that Polly wasn’t too willing to take the next step and marry Huckle, and I must admit that it was probably the only thing that made me feel a little frustrated – with Polly. Because, to be absolutely honest, I couldn’t so much understand her dilemmas and indecision, especially as it was crystal clear that she loved Huckle to the moon and back and their love has already weathered many testing times. Yes, she explained, and I could see where she was coming from but still it was incomprehensive to me. And there came a moment that I was so, so scared! I was scared that Polly will drive Huckle away and that he won’t come back and that there won’t be happy ever after after all… It was, however, of course brilliantly written and the moments when she realised she can’t live without Huckle were so beautiful, and yes, I wanted to bang her head then but I also respected her fears.
Little Beach Street Bakery is one of my favourite series – all the books have the feel good factor to them and brought me tons of happiness. And really, guys, I adored “Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery”. Simply, I adored it. It had all what I’m looking for in books and much, much more. You can easily feel that Jenny Colgan has poured her soul and heart into writing this book, it is detectable – the characters are unforgettable, lovely people that found a place in my heart, the setting is described with lots of love and events are so close to life. It is a perfect winter read, a MUST HAVE this winter, and please, make your friends and family happy by giving them a copy of this beautiful novel for Christmas – they’ll be delighted with this lovely and festive story about love, friendship, troubles, worries and secrets but also about hope and forgiving. Highly, highly recommended!