Polly, a chronic optimist and owner of the Little Beach Street Bakery, is living the baker’s dream. She lives in a Mount Polbearne – a picturesque British coast-side town – lighthouse with her (extremely handsome!) American beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle and has a pet puffin to boot! Author Jenny Colgan takes great pains to bring Mount Polbearne to life and portray all of its sea-side beauty, sucking the reader into a beautiful beach landscape filled with “clouds [that] danced like clean laundry across the sky” and the “smell of sunscreen, and ice cream”. But as the fantasy life Polly has built for herself begins to crumble faster than one of the new owner’s of Little Beach Street Bakery’s cheap desserts, she must learn that sometimes the sweetest of times come from bitter beginnings.
The highlights of the book are undoubtedly Colgan’s mouth-watering descriptions of the various foods and baked goods Polly makes. This is one of her greatest strengths as an author, as evidenced by the plethora of other dessert and food-related books she has written. Colgan’s fluid writing style with her added sprinklings of humor captivates and supports the 416 pages of the book. There are too many gems to list but some funny puffin moments included Polly wondering about the “availability of puffin obedience classes” for her puffin named Neil and filling her lighthouse domicile with puffin memorabilia to provide Neil with companionship as an “only puffin”.
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is the second book in the Little Beach Street Bakery series (read out review of the first), but Colgan does a good job of catching up first-time patrons to the Little Beach Street Bakery. However, after reading the second installment, I would recommend starting with the first book as it provides important context and plot-related information for the second.
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is the modern gal’s version of a wise fairy-tale, and shows that difficulties are but bumps on an otherwise pleasant road, money isn’t and shouldn’t be the prime goal of life, and that hard work in addition to following your passions will lead to happiness.
Maria Tews is a high school student in Northeastern Connecticut. Maria loves reading, writing, and a hot cup of tea.
Review copy was provided by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.