Friday, 24 April 2015

Book Review - The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

Amazon UK
Title: The Cake Shop in the Garden
Author: Carole Matthews
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Competition win from Carole Matthews
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 23rd April 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn't do all this, who will?

Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she's ever made.

When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay's entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn't know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision - even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most? Life, love and family are about to collide in The Cake Shop in the Garden.

I was over the moon on Saturday morning to discover I had won a signed copy of The Cake Shop in the Garden, since I have been a Carole Matthew fan for probably 12 years at least now, and have read almost every book she has written. I was even more delighted to come home on Monday, to see it had arrived already, and since I was between books, I couldn't resist. I had to read this one.

Fay Merryweather, is running a teashop out of her garden, and also her narrowboat at the bottom of the garden on the canal. She gets a reasonable passing trade from people meandering up and down the canals near Milton Keynes, as well as people from the local village. While running this teashop, she also is sole carer to her bedridden mum Margaret, as well as a huge support to her sister in New York. 

Fay has a long term partner of 10 years, in Anthony, who seems more interested in golf and his handbell ringing group, than in Fay, and seems like he must have been old before his time, at least it felt that way. 

Lija is Fay's assistant in the cafe, and perhaps one of Fay's only real friends. I loved Lija's attitude towards everything, and she is a massive help to Fay. 

Danny Wilde, is young and incredibly handsome. He has recently packed in a job in The City, in order to have a more relaxed way of life, travelling around the UK on the canals. He moors his boat on Fay's mooring and helps out preparing the cafe for another summer. 

Fay is the sort of person that put literally everyone first, and as a result she initially seems a bit "woe is me", a  bit uninspiring and spineless. But when suddenly everything around her changes, she has to decide exactly what is most important in her life, and in doing so, I feel becomes a far more well rounded person. 

I loved the idea of a Cake Shop/Cafe being run out of a boat, and a garden, and in bad weather parts of the house. The cakes always sounded so nice, and regular customer Stan is a real ray of light. He is the perfect example of an elderly gentleman.

The bedridden mother, Margaret, and sister Edie are really hard to like. Both of them utterly selfish and take advantage of Fay. In fact although there quite a few characters I didn't like, they were the sort that I still enjoyed reading about regardless. 

The Cake Shop in the Garden is a novel with heart. It is a wonderful story about love, life, family and not to mention cake! As is always the case, it was an absolute pleasure to read, and I would love to see a short story sequel, as I feel I'd love to see how the story develops, after the book ended!

The Cake Shop in the Garden was published in paperback yesterday. 

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