This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Edelweiss+, LibraryThing Early Reviewers. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
Also by this author: The Bookshop on the Corner
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Womens Fiction
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Edelweiss+, LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound
The beloved author of The Bookshop on the Corner returns with a sparkling, sunny, soulful new novel perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand.
Years ago, Flora fled the quiet Scottish island where she grew up -- and she hasn't looked back. What would she have done on Mure? It's a place where everyone has known her all her life, where no one will let her forget the past. In bright, bustling London, she can be anonymous, ambitious... and hopelessly in love with her boss.
But when fate brings Flora back to the island, she's suddenly swept once more into life with her brothers -- all strapping, loud, and seemingly incapable of basic housework -- and her father. Yet even amid the chaos of their reunion, Flora discovers a passion for cooking -- and find herself restoring dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour: a café by the sea.
But with the seasons changing, Flora must come to terms with past mistakes -- and work out exactly where her future lies...
Funny and heartfelt, The Café by the Sea is a delightful summertime novel that puts a modern twist on the classic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers story.
**This story is also titled as “The Summer Seaside Kitchen” with an alternate cover**
The Cafe by the Sea is an endearing tale about a woman who is trying to come to her own after a tragedy strikes that created a rift between her family. She was able to push them from her mind until she was faced with going back to her home. Little did she know that returning to deal with her family gave her an opportunity to heal the wounds that she had ignored for so long. Weaved into an entertaining read is love, laughter, romance and local lore about mermaids.
Flora is a quiet Scottish woman who has been living in London for the past few years. She had grown-up on a small Scottish Island but quickly fled after the death of her mother. All Flora wanted was to be as far away from her childhood home as possible and had not returned since her hasty departure. It is unclear at the start what it was exactly that happened that would embarrass Flora so badly that she would not return home but it is clear that the passing of her mother was extremely hard on this character as well as her family.
Living in London, Flora has what she has always wanted, a proper professional job. She works as a paralegal and has made some friends but has been pretty unlucky in the love department. Her dissatisfaction with eligible bachelors is due to the fact that she compares every man she meets against her boss, Joel. Flora has an epic crush, a crush to end all crushes, on Joel. The problem is that he does not even know that she exists because he is the biggest douche bag ever! No matter what she tries, Flora can’t help wanting this man and it had been years.
Life may have not been exciting for Flora but she was okay with where she was. Even though she always felt like something was missing, she quickly dismissed those feelings. Never dreaming of going back home, Flora is shocked when Joel calls her in and requests her to go back to her childhood home to smooth the way for Billionaire Colton Rogers. Colton was an American who had bought property on the northern tip of the island but was having a hard time with the locals.
Although Flora did not want to be home, she found that as time went on, and she learned more about Colton’s plans, she became passionate about the island and the people on it. Through her intervention, she was able to show Colton that there were great experiences to be had if he would only look locally. He needed to use local sources, meet and greet his neighbors and really learn about the place he has decided to build his resort at.
This is where the story really picks up. Having the characters and their stories unfurl on the pages was exquisite. I really felt a connection to the island and its inhabitants. In addition, with Flora being home, there was a reconnection going on with her family as well. Although it was challenging at first, as Flora started to actually take an interest in her family they responded in kind and it developed into a heartwarming merging of two worlds.
There is a romance aspect to this story, it revolves around flora and two gentlemen. Both of which are unavailable for their own reasons. There are sweet moments between Flora and these men and you never are for certain where things are going to lead. There are surprises around every corner that will make you laugh as well as grrrrrrr. No matter what this story will appeal to all those readers who love a little romance.
Much of this story revolves around Flora’s cooking for her family and the local inhabitants. What makes it truly sweet to me is that Flora was using her mother’s recipes from her personal cookbook and you could feel how it connected Flora to her mother. Healing Flora while she healed her family through meals together. There is a part of the story where you learn the significance of the cookbook to Flora’s mother and it is beyond heartwarming. This is a perfect beach read as well as a darling tale about the healing that can take place through cooking with love.
*Thank you to Edelweiss+ & William Morrow for this eARC of The Café by the Sea*