Monday, 21 September 2015

Guest Review: The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements

Anna and her husband Matteo are ready to embark a delicious Italian adventure. After a year and a half running their ice cream shop on Brighton beach and raising their baby Isabella, Matteo is starting to miss Italy. A shared passion for ices means it's easy to settle on a new business idea - they'll open a shop in the town's cobbled square, a short walk from the sparkling blue sea. For a while, life is sweet; but then Matteo's overbearing family get involved... 

Anna's younger sister Imogen feels like things are finally coming together - she's living with boyfriend Finn in a beach house in Brighton, and her photography is taking off. Then her career stalls, and the lure of Capri - and a man from her past - prove difficult to resist. 

Join Anna and Imogen and share a summer on the Amalfi Coast that you'll never forget.



This book is the sequel to the wonderful Vivien's Ice Cream Shop. I read it hard on the heels of the first book, but it would stand alone nicely if you hadn't read the first tale.  All the same lovely people are there, along with beautiful settings and mouthwatering flavours of ice cream and sorbet of course.

I really liked all of the characters in the story, although a couple took a while to grow on me. The central players are, as in the first book, two sisters (Anna and Imogen), very different but both strong and likeable in their own ways. In this book, we follow them through the ups and downs in their love lives and careers. Anna and her partner, Matteo, have developed the ice cream shop left to the sisters by their grandmother into a thriving business. Imogen is much more passionate about her photography business, but is struggling to decide which direction her life should take. Her partner, Finn, is still by her side.

The action in this story again takes place in both England and Italy. The descriptions of the Italian setting had me packing my bag to take a trip there. I could just see the sun shimmering on the Mediterranean, so evocative is Abby's writing.  I could almost taste those delicious ice cream flavours that were dreamt up in the shops in both countries.  I'm also dying to try the gin cocktail with lime sorbet that Anna's partner was drinking.

I would recommend this book to people of any age. As I said at the beginning, you wouldn't have to read the first story to appreciate this one, but if you haven't read it, why not give it a go? Do be prepared, though, to be overwhelmed by the need to dash out and buy: a) ice cream; and b) tickets for a trip to the Amalfi Coast.

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