I know in my last post I said how much I was looking forward to picking out my own reading material after several months of reading other people’s recommendations BUT this last weekend we were in Ireland visiting Rob’s Mum and she passed me a book she had just finished that she thought I would like and…

I absolutely loved it!

We were in Ireland for four days and in between visits to gardens, visiting family and playing on the beach I managed to read the whole thing. I literally read the last few pages in the car on the way to the airport on Monday morning.

The book was Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

I have read a few of Jenny Colgan’s books now and they follow a pattern that I know some will find sickeningly sweet but that I actually enjoy; woman takes on challenging small business in an old fashioned community finds love, friendship and healing along the way.

But this book is a little bit different, it is clearly a sequel and so we skip over the story of Polly making her home in the small Cornish Island that is connected to the mainland by a causeway that is underwater in high tide. In this installment Polly is faced with losing her job and her home and her friends, and has no easy answer to fix her problems. This book is about what you do when you have failed repeatedly and how to pick yourself up from the dust when the fight has gone out of you.

Yes, the cutesy town is there and ultimately a happy ending, and on the way there are plenty of mentions of comforting food, baths and the occasional lavish party due to millionaire characters who occasionally appear which keeps the book light and frothy but underneath that there is a true grit of character. Here there are people drowning in circumstances beyond their control and finding ways to break through to the surface again.

The sea battering the island makes a beautiful metaphor for this inner battle and after reading about the vicious storm in the book I lost myself for a while watching real life footage of storms at sea on YouTube. It has given me a new appreciation of the sea and a longing to get to our coastline more often.

There is talk of a family holiday to Cornwall next year and I would love to go see St Michael’s Mount which was the inspiration for the fictional location in Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery. Fingers crossed that if we do go the weather will be more welcoming!

Now that I have finished that book I have now started reading something new that I picked out at the library all by myself! I am half way through that one and have two other books sitting waiting to be read so hopefully there will be more Book Bag posts soon!