little beach street bakery book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

After financial ruin and a messy breakup, Polly moves to the tiny little island of Mount Polbearne where she takes residence in a rundown old building with an apartment on the top. The roof leaks, the plumbing barely works, and on top of it all she’s essentially running away from all of her problems. Her best friend, Kerensa, tries to talk her out of it, but Polly is determined to get away and figure out herself and her situation. As time goes on, Polly meets several new people who have an impact on her daily life but Polly has an impact on them as well with her freshly made bread that she shares with the townspeople. The local baker, Mrs Manse, puts up a fight regarding Polly’s bread because she feels that Polly is infringing on her turf. But what ends up happening is they work together and form a special friendship that helps to grow Mount Polbearne into a welcoming and gossiping community.

There’s a group of fishermen that especially take to Polly’s bread and their leader, Tarnie, takes a shine to Polly herself. However, when that turns sour Polly has to work through her heartache and turns to Huckle (the local American beekeeper) to help distract her. Huckle has come across the pond in an effort to run away from his life in America and is very quiet and reserved in telling about himself, but he opens up to Polly. Grief and tragedy strike the sleepy little island-town and cause them all to pull together and fight for what they believe in.

Little Beach Street Bakery is a great story about friendship, community ties, small towns, and bread! I really like that Jenny Colgan didn’t include so much cooking/bread details so as to be boring to someone who doesn’t want to read that part, but has just enough to make a bread-loving person hungry as they read. While the book seemed a bit slow to start for my taste, it finally got to a point (about halfway through the story) where I really wanted to keep reading and not stop until the end. I really enjoyed the wedding ceremony near the end of the book….it actually made me giggle a bit! My *one* critique is that the cover really doesn’t match the story….the cover has a cupcake on it and there’s really never any mention about cupcakes. It’s ALL about bread…yeasty concoctions, not sweet. It would have been really great to see some bread on the cover instead of a cupcake!  But really, that’s a minor annoyance.  All in all a great story and well told.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.