Originally posted at http://bookshelfbows.blogspot.co.uk/
I loved Abby Clements' first book, Meet Me Under The Mistletoe, and thought it was a lovely, heart warming Christmas read. When the follow up, Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop, was announced, I couldn't wait to, ahem, sink my teeth into it. The glorious cover (which almost rivals the cover for Meet Me Under The Mistletoe) caught my eye and I knew I was in for a summery treat.
Both Imogen and Anna are dealing with their own issues in life, trying to navigate their way through careers, countries and their 20s when their beloved grandmother Vivien passes away. The sisters, who couldn't be more different from one another, are shocked to discover that Vivien has left her ice cream parlour to them in her will, along with a little dog! For Anna, it signals an opportunity to flex her foodie fingers and get in touch with her lifelong dreams. Imogen, however, finds herself having to leave behind her glorious beach and sun soaked life in Thailand to help her sister renovate and relaunch the shop.
Naturally, there are several setbacks along the way for both of the sisters, both personally and professionally, but they rally together in a way that only sisters can. Their contrasting characters were written really well and provided each sister with their own unique voice. But, the sisterhood aside, my favourite chapters are the ones that took place in Florence, where Anna attends an ice cream course. The settings, sights and sounds were written so gloriously that I felt as though I had been transported to the beautiful piazzas myself!
As a nice treat, there are five ice cream recipes tucked away at the back of the book for you to try out and they sound delicious. It's a nice touch considering I worked my way through several cones whilst reading this!
Overall, it's a delightful, fantastic summer read and I, personally, cannot wait to see what's next from Abby Clements!