Monday 29 August 2016

Guest Review: The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

**Take a trip to the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a very special little cookbook shop is about to open its doors…**

In the beginning…

Kitty Cartwright has always solved her problems in the kitchen. Her cookbooks are her life, and there isn’t an issue that ‘Cooking with Aspic’ can’t fix. Her only wish is that she had a book entitled ‘Rustling Up Dinner When Your Husband Has Left You’.

Forty years later…

On Rosemary Lane, Della Cartwright plans to open a very special little bookshop. Not knowing what to do with the hundreds of cookbooks her mother left her, she now wants to share their recipes with the world – and no amount of aspic will stand in her way.

But with her family convinced it’s a hare-brained scheme, Della starts to wonder if she’s made a terrible decision. One thing’s for sure: she’s about to find out…

Lose yourself in Della’s world of food, family and friends. 

Review: Ellen Berry is an author who is new to me, but I liked the sound of this story when I looked at it and decided to try it. I have also just finished another story about a bookshop, so I thought why not stay in that theme? Of course that's where the similarity between the books ends, but they proved equally interesting. 

In The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane, the main character, Della, is left to dispose of her late mother's possessions, which include a collection of cookery books. This is not just any pile of cookery books that we all have in our kitchen; this amounted to over 900 publications. Della comes up with the bright idea of opening a specialist cookery book emporium in the little Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where she grew up. She meets with a mixed reaction to the idea from family and friends, but goes ahead with it anyway. It turns out there is a lot more going on in Della's life than she realised. Daughter Sophie is off to university, with the worries associated with that, and what is husband Mark up to? No good, we suspect. To top it all, a mystery surfaces when she finds a cryptic note inside one of her mum's books.

I very much enjoyed this story. I liked the character of Della and the strength that she finds when faced with unexpected stresses in her life. Her siblings were more than happy to leave her to clear out their mother's home and possessions, but not to support her in her new endeavour. Her husband was also unhelpful and unsympathetic. However, she battled on undeterred, with the support of her best friend.

I think that this would be a book to be enjoyed by all. At this time of year, many of us are looking for good holiday reads to stick in the case or download to our e-readers. This would be a good one. I was delighted to find at the end of the book the information that 2 more about Rosemary Lane are to follow. I'll be looking out for them. 

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