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Thursday, 21 April 2011

Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Ever dreamed of starting over? Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that - Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she's made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own cafe. It should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. As her friends point out, she has trouble remembering where she left her house keys, let alone trying to run her own business. But Issy is determined. Armed with recipes posted to her from Grampa, and with her local bank manager fighting her corner, Issy attempts to prove everyone wrong. Following your dreams is never easy and this is no exception. Can Issy do it?

The story contains a number of themes: the main being that of Issy, who is made redundant and decides to follow her dream of opening her own cake shop/cafe. There is also Pearl, a single mum, who lives in an area of the city which is undesirable, and wants to make a better life for her son where ever possible. Grampa Joe, lives in a care home but who wants to pass his knowledge onto Issy, and then there is Catherine, wife of a city high flier, who originally wanted the cafe site for her own business, but her husband wants a divorce and tells her to find her a job to support herself with, with tail between her legs, she approaches Issy. There are also potential love interests for Issy, the bank manager who has stepped in to become a father figure to his young brother, after their parents death and Graeme - a slimeball!

Many chapters of the book starts with a cake recipe, and they all sound delicious. Each recipe is written by Grampa Joe, in his own unique style.

I love the front cover - it is a stunning cover, with foiled highlights and cupcakes galore - it depicts the story very well. I would love to have the Cupcake Cafe as a local business near me, I am sure the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and a setting for many a relaxed afternoon.

The writing style was easy to follow and I devoured the chapters quickly. However, I was not a fan of Jenny Colgan in the past, but really liked the sound of this book. If i am honest, I am not won over by the author, but the book was an easy read, one which could be devoured on a beach or over a summer weekend.

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