Wednesday 1 July 2015

Review: Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements

When Imogen and Anna unexpectedly inherit their grandmother Vivien's ice cream parlour, it turns both their lives upside-down. The Brighton shop is a seafront institution, but while it's big on charm it's critically low on customers. If the sisters don't turn things around quickly, their grandmother's legacy will disappear forever. 

With summer looming, Imogen and Anna devise a plan to return Vivien's to its former glory. Rather than sell up, they will train up, and make the parlour the newest destination on the South Coast foodie map. 

While Imogen watches the shop, her sister flies to Italy to attend a gourmet ice cream-making course. But as she works shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best chefs in the industry, Anna finds that romance can bloom in the most unexpected of places...

Review: aww I definitely shouldn't have waited so long to read this book, it was just as delicious as I anticipated and then some! I loved the idea behind this, first of all, the idea of inheriting an ice cream shop and then having to work out what to do with it-love it! I really liked the setting as well because I could picture exactly what was going on at each point. I really didn't expect the extra sub plots that went along with the main story line, they were really interesting and its always good to have a bit of romance thrown into the mix as well. The book does come with a warning that it will have you craving ice cream or any kind of frozen sweetness really so have something in the freezer ready to accompany your reading!

I loved the balance of Anna and Imogen as characters, they really are ying and yang in terms of their personalities, one being an adventuring traveller, the other being a real home bod, but their contrast really worked for this novel. Imogen got into some real scrapes and some which affected the whole business whereas Anna had to be the sensible one to sort it out. I like Anna's sideline story line the best I think, I liked the journey that she went on over the course of the novel. There is another subplot about the girls' family as well and it thought this was a really interesting twist. It would be good to see if this comes up again in the sequel!

Obviously ice cream features heavily in this novel, which will make you hungry, but so does travel, particularly Italy, which will make you yearn to go there as well. I seriously need to go back to Sicily after reading this book, the description of all the settings was excellent though. I really felt like I was there with the girls (and boys!) and I'm sure every reader will have a similarly positive experience! Overall, just a great read with a good balance of plot, setting and characters. I can't wait for the next one!

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