Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

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Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Tanja Jennings
Reviewed by Tanja Jennings
Summary: A feel good, homely read about the joy of living for simple pleasures and the community spirit of islanders suffused with quirky effervescence and tinged by a touch of sadness. The author includes poetry and song lyrics with proceeds from the sales of her book going to the charity organisations and Warning: Mild references to sex and swearing.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 441 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Sphere
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780751549218

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Polly is disconsolate. She thought she had it all, the perfect yuppie lifestyle in Plymouth. She is 32 and has worked tirelessly marketing and managing her artist boyfriend’s graphic design consultancy. Now, with the sudden economic downturn and the competitive nature of new technologies, the bank has foreclosed. Chris just wants to shut out the world and slink back to his mother's, leaving Polly bereft, homeless and confused as she struggles to start over again away from the rat race. Faced with the prospect of grungy student flat shares, she looks further afield for new affordable accommodation and finds a neglected tidal island in Cornwall connected by a causeway to the mainland. In the harbour, there is a dirty, derelict building for rent. The upstairs loft is over a disused bakery.

On a whim Polly decides to temporarily settle in Mount Polbearne and take some time out to revive her spirits, much to her sceptical friend Kerenza’s consternation who thinks the flat should be condemned. Consoled by the sea view and the remoteness of the location, Polly starts to relax and her stresses fall away. She indulges in her hobby of baking bread, fosters an injured baby puffin she names Neil, meets some friendly fishermen and takes a trip to buy honey from an eccentric American called Huckle.

Little Beach Street Bakery has a lot to recommend it. Mount Polbearne is possibly inspired by St Michael’s Mount Causeway, a similar island community in the same locale. Colgan is humorously observant about the pretentious nature of second homers and insightful about the life of fishermen and the women who wait for them to come home on the quay. The majority of her characters are rounded. The fisherman Tarnie displays human frailty, Mrs Manse (Polly's landlady) has a reason to be the way she is and Polly just wants to start again and find love. The character of Kerensa is slightly jarring as is the sudden miraculous intervention of the fairy godfather eccentric billionaire Reuben. It’s a good natured bit of pie in the sky in an otherwise fulfilling read. Polly has many obstacles and suffers from guilt and soul searching before she finds the happy ending of her choice with a few surprises along the way. Jenny Colgan includes some tasty bread recipes at the end of the book. She has tried to make them as easy as possible for readers without fancy baking equipment.

If you find books featuring mouth-watering recipes a delectable delight then why not sample Joanne Harris’ charming Chocolat, experience Jenny Colgan’s The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris and Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop Of Dreams or for more on the language of food and its equation to comfort, Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder . They focus on resourceful characters starting over after a turbulent time and play on the reader’s culinary senses.

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Buy Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan at


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