As The Seafront Tearoom begins, the main character, Kat Murray, is working on building a life in Scotland. Kat is a single parent to her toddler son, Leo. Leo’s father, Jake, is involved but not very present in Leo’s life and Kat has to manage affairs mostly on her own. Unfortunately, she is unable to secure a decent job to make ends meet and ends up taking a job as a tearoom reviewer. Taking the job also means she has to leave Leo with Jake more often.
Enter French Seraphine Moreau, a well-off socialite without a career or any direction. Seraphine agrees to take a nanny job with her father’s friend, Adam, – whose wife passed away – and help care for his daughter, Zoe.
The story progresses as Kat, Charlie (another female character), and Seraphine develop a deep friendship and review tearooms; Charlie and Pippa (sisters) develop a better relationship; Kat considers letting her guard down with Adam; Charlie and Euan develop an initial connection; people make raspberry tarts, and Kat finds out about some family secrets. Overall, the story has a relatively satisfying ending.
The characters, although believable, are a bit predictable and plain vanilla. The end pages of the book offer a few well-meaning recipes, and some discussion questions regarding the story line and themes of the book for possible group discussions. The author writes believable story lines and dilemmas, but some of the problems that are presented as show-stoppers are just random everyday issues most people in relationships have to deal with over time. I’d recommend this book to all ages, although it may get slightly confusing with the initial introduction of the multitude characters.
After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Berkley. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.