Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Book review: Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan


My edition: Hardcover, published on 7th November 2013 by Sphere, 432 pages.

Description: Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow.

Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish Delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She's going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can't wait.

But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community, all of Rosie's plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what's best for the sweetshop also what's best for Rosie?

Rating:



I am a big fan of the charming novels by author Jenny Colgan which are not only filled with wonderfully engaging stories but oftentimes also with delectable recipes for sweet treats. And after getting the opportunity to hear Jenny read from her latest Rosie Hopkins novel at a literary event last month, I became even more excited to get my hands on this installment in the series (or what I hope will become a series, at least).  

Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop is, predictably, a continuation of the story as found within the pages of Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams. Rosie and Stephen unofficially live together while Rosie still manages her aunt's sweetshop in the town of Lipton and Stephen takes up the post of a teacher at the local school. While they are very happy together, their different backgrounds and difficult mothers often make it a trial to make it through the day without a healthy argument or two. But that's okay, as it makes their household very lively and not any less loving as a result.

While Rosie is the main character within the novel and I love her to pieces, it were actually the stories of Lilian and Edison this time around that particularly appealed to me and tugged on my heartstrings. I won't go into detail as that may spoil it for those who have yet to pick up the novel, but I can say that on several occasions a heavy lump formed in my throat as I was reading about their emotional and physical struggles. They had to deal with some heartbreaking situations which were portrayed incredibly realistic by the author and made me feel very sorry for them. While I certainly wished things would've gone differently, in Lilian's case in particular, it did make for some page-turning reading.

It wasn't all doom and gloom though and I loved having the opportunity to read more about Rosie and Stephen, who are two characters I've grown very fond of after devouring the first novel. The addition of Rosie's extended family made for some particularly hilarious situations this time around and the Christmas setting added some suitably festive sparkle to the already idyllic village of Lipton.

More gripping and heart-wrenching than the first novel, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop is a still charming and heartfelt continuation of the story, which will have readers fall even more in love with the picturesque town of Lipton and its wonderful inhabitants, some of whom deservingly so get a little more of a chance to shine this time around, Edison, Tina and Moray stood out to me in particular.

You can purchase a copy of this novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: www.jennycolgan.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks

Twitter: @jennycolgan


Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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