The Cherry Tree Cafe: Cupcakes, crafting and love - the perfect summer read for fans of Bake Off Paperback – 1 Jun 2017
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About the Author
Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of five novels. She lives in Norfolk with her husband, two allegedly grown-up children and a mischievous black cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside and collects vintage paraphernalia. To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website: heidiswain.co.uk.
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As I read through the novel I was, at times, infuriated by Lizzie. She is written beautifully though, as a 'real' person who makes mistakes and doesn't always choose the best course of action for herself (several times I thought, what are you playing at Lizzie?) but she is likeable and engaging and I really rooted for her throughout. The relationships explored aren't just romantic as we see Lizzie dealing with friends old and new, her difficult mother and a livewire god-daughter.
There is a happy ending, of course, but the true sense of Lizzie's story was her journey of self-discovery and the love story is just one strand of this. I was left wondering what would happeneto her next, which is always the sign of good writing for me. Happily I was able to move on to Summer at Skylark Farm where we revisit Wynbridge and a new heroine discovers the Cherry Tree Café.
The story follows Lizzie and her breakup from nasty totally-in-love-with-himself Giles (I don't even know how to pronounce that name!), Lizzie moves away to her hometown after this and starts falling back in love with high school crush, Ben. However, along the way there are several bumps on Lizzie's road!
One thing I could say is that I do think Lizzie overreacted a tad when she found out that Ben's ex girlfriend was Natasha, I don't get any she has any right to be annoyed over that? It just confused me. I didn't really like the side line of The City Crafting Cafe either. I much preferred when Lizzie was working at The Cherry Tree, but I suppose that's what we're meant to feel right? Because Lizzie also much preferred working at The Cherry Tree as well.
I love the setting for this book, and the layout of the cafe and everything is written so well that I have no trouble in imagining it as I'm reading. I love books that are an easy read and this was just that, plus it had cakes involved so it was an added bonus!
Overall, I do really enjoy Heidi Swain's novels and this was just another one to add to my enjoyed read pile! Will definitely be picking up more of her books when they're out!
Her opening scene takes us into the heart of her heroine, Lizzie Dixon, and you may be forgiven for thinking the ensuing events are too predictable ~ but, I implore you, read on. Nothing in The Cherry Tree café is predictable.
Ms Swain’s writing carried this reader from the opening scene to the last sentence and left her exasperated with Lizzie, and in love with Lizzie, routing for Lizzie to grow a spine, and then charmed that Lizzie’s spine was always there, it just got buffeted a bit more than she deserved.
This author takes you through the gamut of friendship, be it true or misguided. There were times when I really wanted to ‘clock’ Lizzie’s best friend Jemma, her husband and Ms Swain’s hero, Benn.
There are more twists and turns in The Cherry Tree Café than on a mountain switchback road. Some predictable and yet, still with the capacity to surprise and others that were totally unexpected.
Every single one of Ms. Swain’s characters is sharply defined, and so true to life they could be one of your own friends that you meet up with regularly. In fact when I finished The Cherry Tree Café, that’s just how I felt – that I was leaving new friends behind, but also knew I can revisit them any time I wanted, and yes, The Cherry Tree café is one of those ‘go to’ reads for me.
The settings are varied and so real this reader felt as though she was walking beside Lizzie as the story progressed. The authenticity of the activities and professional occupations of her characters added more depth to an already impressive read.
For readers who do not usually choose story written in the first person, this reader would ask you not to dismiss The Cherry Tree café out of hand.
Ms Swain has become one of my ‘go to’ authors, and I am delighted to know there are three more of her books to enjoy.
If you enjoy a well written, emotion-packed, story, with strong characters, great settings, and a complex plot, then I recommend you give The Cherry Tree serious consideration.
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