Sunday, January 17, 2016

Book Thoughts - The Irresistible Blueberry Bookshop and Cafe' by Mary Simses

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe' by Mary Simses
341 pages
published 2013

Synopsis -

A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown. 
Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish--to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough. THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is a warm and delicious debut about the power of a simpler life.

My thoughts -

My daughter has started getting excited about picking out books for me to read - she really likes picking just about anything, and for the past couple of years picking out a book to give me at Christmas has been great fun. This year's choice - The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe'. 

So let's be honest - she picks books based solely on the cover, with somewhat mixed results. I can't really fault her - she can't read yet, and who doesn't see a pretty cover and get a bit drawn in? She does seem to tend toward romance, which isn't normally a genre I choose for myself, so that has been a bit of a nice change to my reading habits. Additionally, you might notice that THIS cover compares this particular book to "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - ummmmm, no.

This book was sweet and fairly predictable, with the only major surprise coming on behalf of the main character's grandmother 3/4 of the way through the novel. I don't always need to "like" the main character of a book, but in a romance novel it helps - if I don't like you, why do I care if you wind up happy? The biggest problem here, for me, was how long it took me to find Ellen anything but annoying. Her self-centeredness in every possibly situation made me wonder why anyone put up with her, frankly, and it wasn't until her (possibly even more self-centered) fiance' and mother showed up that she started to seem sympathetic in comparison. 

That said, I was genuinely interested in finding out the secrets of her Grandmother's life - in fact, I would have loved much more of her grandmother's story. Reading how much she loved her Gran made me see the first glimpses of a woman I could root for, so I was thankful for those moments.

The best part of this book? It came from my OWN shelves, so it's the first book in my year of #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. YAY for staying on task!!

Finished - 1/16/15
Source - my shelves (via my daughter)
MPAA rating - PG-13, mostly just because you don't want your daughter to pick up any of Ellen's snottyness
My rating - 3/5


bermudaonion said...

I agree - this book was sweet but nothing special.

Katie in MA (@ Can't Get There) said...

Sounds like a Sarah Jio - good for a palate cleanser after a bunch of good meaty books, but nothing you're going to rush to press into anyone's hands.