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on 7 April 2014
I bought 'Little Beach Street Bakery' as I was looking for a light, easy read on my Kindle and it definitely didn't disappoint. I found myself being pulled into the story and really caring about the characters - it was sad in places, happy in others and made me laugh out loud more than once. A lovely read - especially for a holiday!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 November 2014
OH MY! I have read most of Jenny Colgan’s books and am very fond of her Rosie Hopkins books. However, MOVE OVER Rosie because Polly is in town! I picked this book up and did not put it down until I managed to finish it later that day. I just fell in love again and again, and now I feel a little bit sad that Polly is gone. The only thingthat perked me up was the idea of a re-visit in the form of Jenny Colgan’s release in February 2015 entitled Summer at The Little Beach Street Bakery.

Polly Waterford is by far one of my favourite characters this year. She is without a doubt a gem of a woman who I literally cannot wait to read about next year. Polly is having a tough time and when her and her partners business fails she ups sticks and moves into a ramshackle flat which is basically an abandoned shop. The sleepy little town she is residing in is the furthest from what she is used to as you can get. It’s essentially an island that is isolated once the tides turn and the bridge to the mainland is inaccessible.

The way Jenny describes the place made me fall in love with it and immediately want to visit. While Polly is trying to recover from her past toxic relationship she realises that she has a whole new host of problems to deal with, such as a job, not knowing anybody and living in a place that is fit to be knocked down. However, Polly is not a pushover and her character from start to finish is just perfect. She is very sarcastic but funny with it and one of her relationships made me chuckle and it was with a bird!!!!

I don’t want to delve too much into the storyline as I don’t want to spoil it for anybody but trust me when I say this is a magical book and one which I read in one sitting. Jenny Colgan has won me over with Polly, and although Rosie remains one of my favourites she is beaten to the post by the brilliant Polly Waterford. If you haven’t read a Jenny Colgan, then what are you waiting for? A magical and reality escaping haven, it’s a book you should definitely have in your collection!
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This is a lovely story and has a real feel good factor about it. The main character, Polly, is written about in such a way that you actually begin to care about her and what happens! I loved the descriptions in the book - made me want to move house nearer the sea...

This book is light reading and enjoyable. The kind that you want to read in one sitting.

Would recommend.
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on 14 August 2014
This was my first Jenny Colgan novel and I could not have picked a better story. This is the kind of feel-good book you can eat up in one sitting, because the characters and the storyline just flow and mould together so well.

Polly is at a tricky point in her life; the business she ran with her ex-boyfriend Chris, has just gone bankrupt and as she has no money and no job, she is looking to make a drastic change. Cue her move to the small island of Polbearne, miles away from everyone she knows, where she takes up residence in a rickety and rundown flat about an old bakery. Slowly, Polly begins to rebuild her life, and when she starts indulging in her favourite hobby of baking bread, she has no idea it is the catalyst which will completely change her life for the better.

I thought Polly was an incredibly likeable character, the sort of person you just warm to from the word go, and I was rooting it to all come good for her in the end. There weren't really any 'bad guy' type characters which I also really liked. Jenny Colgan seems to have captured the highs and lows for all of her characters in a way that seems very realistic. She makes it very easy to become invested in the characters, to understand their emotions and to really capture their stories.

Without wanting to give too much of the story away, there is a sad part, so you may want to have the tissues on hand. Or maybe that's just me being a big softie!

It is a really heart-warming story about following your dreams and the things you are passionate about, fantastically written, the story moves at a good pace and I can't wait to pick up one of her other books.
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on 9 April 2014
I loved this book and didn't want it to end,for me it had everything beautiful Cornwall and the little puffin which somehow managed not to be naff,all the characters were believable and you wanted a happy ending for them all
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on 18 March 2014
I enjoyed this and found that I wanted to keep turning the page to find out what would happen. I pre-ordered this back in November, when it arrived I got started on it and then checked the blurb on line to remind myself what it was all about. The poor reviews surprised me because I had only started the book that morning but I was keen to keep reading. I don't want to give a way the story so it is hard to be specific. But I totally loved Neil who was a true bright spot. Polly, Tarnie & Huckle are good characters and Kerensa was fun best friend. This is a gentle tale of hurt and recovery, there are some sad events but as readers we are treated kindly. I have read a few of this author's books before which I have enjoyed. I think perhaps this is written in a different tone but is still a good read, a little bit distant in places but like I said at the beginning I still wanted to keep going to find out what happened so it pulled me in. Don't write it off, give it a go.
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This is the first novel I have read by Jenny Colgan and I enjoyed it although I thought it was a bit "twee". It was basically a bit of lighthearted froth and there is nothing wrong with that - sometimes that is all you want. If you keep this in mind and don't look for anything deep and meaningful, then I am sure you will enjoy this novel. It would be a great holiday read. The central character is Polly. The business which she ran with her boyfriend, Chris has gone bust and they have also had to sell their flat. Their relationship has broken up as a result of this. Polly has had to find somewhere else to stay, and it has to be somewhere cheap. She finds a dilapidated flat on a tidal island off the cost of Cornwall. There was a causeway to the island which was inaccessible at high tide. Polly moves in and gradually develops her hobby of baking bread, into a small business. There are a number of matters which I found really silly and which affected my liking for the book. Firstly, the flat is described as being virtually derelict - the windows are cracked and there are holes in the roof. However, Polly appears to make the flat livable and comfortable without actually doing any work to it. How did she manage that? The second silly storyline concerns the puffin which Polly rescues and which becomes tamer than any budgie. She calls the puffin Neil and it becomes so tame she walks around with it sitting on her shoulder, like a parrot. This part of the story is so ludicrous that I found it very annoying. At one point Polly even takes the puffin with her on a coach to a funeral. There is a wake on the beach, with loud music, flashing lights, a barbecue and lots of people dancing. In the midst of this is the puffin, apparently quite happy! This novel would have been better if the ludicrous storylines, such as the tame puffin, had been excluded.
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on 29 May 2014
I enjoyed reading this book, having spent much time in a Devon fishing/harbour town I related to the community spirit of the fisherman's families etc., and what a 'closed shop' attitude they often have to 'incomers' and tourists. However this is only the second book of Jenny's that I have read, the first one being Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop of Dreams. The theme is very much repeated - professional city couple hit relationship problems, girlfriend goes to live in remote quirky village with little amenities (no phone signal etc) full of characters - again some repetitive, and heroine ends up running a shop stuck in the 1950's currently owned by crotchety old woman who resents new ways of doing things and gets a bit stroppy. However she makes shop successful and proves old dear wrong - old dear is won over. Heroine also goes on to become local man magnet, and gets herself a bit of a reputation before all locals seem to take to her and crowd into her shop every day.
I like Jennys style of writing, but wonder if it is worth buying any more books, as after first couple of chapters I might to be able to pretty much work out rest for myself?

Update:- Tried easy bread recipe in back of book - Wow! Lovely bread recipe, made 4 large wholemeal batons and me and hubby wolfed one right down with a garlic and herb roule - good result
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on 26 March 2014
Having read all of Jenny's books, I think this is one of her best. Gorgeous setting, excellently described and felt like I was there in the village. Jenny's writing style often has me laughing out loud.. loved it from the first to the last word, especially the inclusion of one of my old favourite songs, The Waterboys 'Fisherman's Blues'. Oh and how could I not mention Neil? Neil needs to have his own book

FAB!
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on 3 April 2014
If there is only 1 book you read this year then it has to be Little Beach Street Bakery. This novel definitely has the 'feel good factor'. There are lots of interesting characters in it & my favourites were Reuben & his relationship with Kerensa, Jayden & of course, the wonderful Neil! Please Jenny write a sequel
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