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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good enough to be eaten up in one single satisfying bite!, 2 May 2012
This review is from: Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop Of Dreams (Paperback)
Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams was my first book by Jenny Colgan and I absolutely loved it! Her last two books have really appealed to me what with being a real foodie, and her pretty charming covers have really caught my eye. I think the concept of having a chick-lit novel intermingled with a delicious treat, in this case old fashioned sweets, is a bit of a genius idea as it really gives the sense that your indulging in something naughty but nice and it's refreshing to see a chick-lit novel that celebrates the joys of sweets instead of the heroine counting the calories and going on a diet in a bid to lose weight.

The book begins with our loveable heroine Rosie living out a pretty mundane existence. She's in a steady relationship and has a good job in a city that she loves. Rosie's always been a true Londoner and has never known anything else but the hustle and bustle of city life. So when she gets a call from her mum pulling in a family favour asking her to go and care for her Great Aunt Lilian in the countryside Rosie's not at all thrilled. But as she gets settled in and swept up in the gorgeous quaint country village of Lipton Rosie not only finds herself falling in love with this way of life and her aunt's old fashioned sweetshop but the people too particularly three strapping countrymen a doctor, his patient, and the local handy man who are a far cry from her high maintenance boyfriend back in London. Soon enough Rosie has some big decisions to make, return to the life she's always known? Or take a leap of faith into something new? And if she does take the plunge which local lads arms will she be falling into?

The story's told in an alternating narrative between Rosie and her Aunt Lilian. Rosie's chapters are told in present tense as she refurbishes Lipton's Sweetshop and Lilian's are told in the past tense taking us back as far as 1942 when she was a young lass running her family's sweetshop through war, heartbreak, and family feuds. I have to admit that I did prefer Rosie's chapters simply because I found her more relatable than Lilian. But that being said Lilian's chapters where fascinating to read about and gave a little something extra to the story especially as we come to learn of Lilian's mistakes and regrets and how they start to mirror Rosie's own situation. There's a strong moral of living with no regrets, of taking what you want from life, and learning from past mistakes.

I absolutely fell in love with the Hopkins' Sweetshop. The way that Jenny Colgan describes the sweets and scenery was so vivid that my mouth would water as I imagined the sweet sugary scent which made me nostalgic (not to mention hungry!) for the sweets I enjoyed as a child. Chocolate Limes, Flying Saucers, and great big thick slabs of creamy Fudge they're all here and celebrated in this book. I particularly enjoyed the sections on sweets taken from Lilian's recipe book at the beginning of every chapter particularly the one about life being like a bag of Revels rather than a box of chocolates!

Overall Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams is a charming and delicious treat of a book for foodies and chick-lit fans alike. The blend of sweet nostalgia, warm characters, and yummy men make it a book good enough to be eaten up in one single satisfying bite.
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