The Bliss Bakery Trilogy 1 - Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood
|The Bliss Bakery Trilogy 1 - Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Everybody in the town knows there's something special about the cakes at the Bliss Bakery, which is why there's always such a queue outside the shop. And when Rose Bliss sees her mother fold a lightning bolt into a bowl of batter to save a child's life, she realises that the cakes really are magical. But then her parents are called away so Rose, along with her three siblings, is left to run the shop and things quickly get out of hand.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2012|
|Publisher: HarperCollins Children's books|
A town with a name as ominous as Calamity Falls cries out for a shop like the one run by the Bliss family. Even before you move there you just know that if something can go wrong then it certainly will, and that however much it may look like normal small-town America on the outside, nothing short of magic will make it a happy, fulfilled place. No surprise, then, that this is where Rose lives, along with her parents, two brothers and her baby sister. And although the townsfolk don't understand precisely what goes on in the kitchen of the Bliss Bakery, they return day after day for the most delicious pastries, muffins and cakes they have ever known with a vague conviction that life is better as long as they do so.
Rose is twelve when the book opens, and she has known for a couple of years that her parents are kitchen magicians. She really loves working with them, and is becoming a very good cook in her own right, but she feels torn: does she want to stay forever in the dull little town, learning to cook like her parents and eventually taking over the shop, or does she want to travel far away, see the world and find a different destiny for herself. Many of this book's young female readers will find it easy to identify with her: she is not as good-looking as her older brother Ty, nor as extravert and attention-seeking as Sage. And no one could ever be as cute as three-year-old Leigh. So Rose feels almost invisible: reliable, efficient and capable, but neither pretty nor witty. She runs mundane errands and takes responsibility for her siblings, but she dreams of more, of taking the world by storm, or at the very least of attracting the attention of Devin Stetson whose sandy blond hair falls into his eyes and who knows how to repair a torn fan belt.
Little wonder, then, that Rose is sorely tempted by the beguiling promises of a glamorous, exciting life offered by Aunt Lily, who arrives for a visit the minute her parents leave for a neighbouring town to help cure their summer flu epidemic. Deep in her heart Rose knows something is not right, and that her brothers are fools to listen to their beautiful aunt's bewitching, siren words, but the yearning in her is so strong that she struggles to resist, and eventually she gives in to her brothers' demands to use the real cook book – the magic one. Of course, things go wrong, and using more magic to solve the increasingly bizarre crises which beset the town only makes things worse.
This is a charming book, full of eccentric characters, and with plenty of funny scenes as the children try desperately to fix their mistakes. It is a gentle tale with no real surprises or insights – the villain of the piece is obvious from the start, and likeable, affectionate Rose is bound to end up doing the right thing in the end. It is a pleasant, light-hearted read, and a good many of the young girls who read it will be happy to know Rose and her family are due to have two more adventures.
Another enchanting book about the magical effects of good cooking is Madame Pamplemousse and the Enchanted Sweet Shop by Rupert Kingfisher.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Bliss Bakery Trilogy 1 - Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Bliss Bakery Trilogy 1 - Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood at Amazon.com.
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