Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their townhouse, she has to move miles away from everyone, to the sleepy little seaside resort of Polbearne, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.
And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it.
Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.
Review: first of all can we all just take a moment to marvel over another gorgeous cover from a jenny Colgan. I am so pleased that her back catalogue of titles have been redone with this style of cover because they are just so sumptuous and glorious, just as the content inside is! This novel is very thing that I wanted it to be. It leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, has a killer romance storyline and had the kind of setting that has you yearning to get there any way possible right now. Jenny Colgan's books always leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling, like settling down in a pair of pyjamas with a cup of tea and a cuddle. This one started as it meant to go on in just this vein. It was just so lovely, with the kind of details you really value as a reader.
The storyline itself was nice and simple. Polly wants to start a new life and attempts to do it on a little is,and, frequently cut off by the tide, where she finds herself mixed up with fishermen, a Bee keeper, bakers and a puffin. Although this sounds fairly unbelievable, you get so wrapped up in Polly's world that anything seems possible. The part of the storyline involving the puffin had me in tears at parts and exclaiming out loud with pure joy at others. There are some very dramatic parts in the storyline as well, it's not all war and fuzzy but there is definitely the perfect balance of drama, romance and sweet sweet moments.
I loved Polly as a character, she was so chilled out it made her incredibly easy to like. When things went wrong for her, she simply picked herself up and evaluated where she was going to go next and how she would improve next time. She didn't sit around moping and she made things happen for herself. She didn't seem phased by her romantic entanglements either, and she had a genuinely lovely relationship with her best friend which was a joy to see in the novel. The best friend is a wonderful over the too character who provides a wonderful contrast to the laid back atmosphere of the town and Polly herself.
The men in this novel all have their lovely qualities. I defy you not to fall in love with Tarnie, huckle and even Jayden for that matter! Colgan has written some lovely hunky men to drool over and the add extra spice to the storyline, as well as their own brand of drama. The setting is definitely a character in its own right. The idyllic fishing village, enhanced in its escapism even more by the fact that it is literally cut off from everything else at certain times of day. The bread too, is another character, do NOT read this unless you are full, and reading whilst on a diet is not advisable. You can almost smell it coming off the page and will have you rushing to this kitchen to try and knead some dough yourself.
I loved this novel (as if you can't already tell) and genuinely can't find fault with it. If you're looking for something full of mystery and crime, you won't enjoy this, but if you're looking for a lovely, easy read full of wonderful characters and a satisfying storyline then this needs to be your next read!