*Cue Bing Crosby* Happy Holidays!
Have I got a story for you…twas two weeks before Christmas, and all through the house, I sat there reading Jenny Colgan’s Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, quiet as a mouse.
I gotta say, when I first picked up the book, I thought it would be appropriate for the holidays, but not nearly as entertaining as I found it to be!
First off, I want to say that I love Colgan’s writing style in the story itself, but I also loved her authors’ notes. Not only did she include a traditional introduction, she also provided holiday recipes and a link to a Christmas playlist, which was super cute.
Now onto the story, it takes place in a “usually” sleepy rural English village called Lipton, but the whole town is turned upside down, especially in regard to Rosie. Not only does she have romantic ups and downs, a small tragedy strikes, her Australian family come to visit, and her great-aunt Lilian has a huge surprise of her own. That’s all I’ll say for now because I don’t want to give y’all spoilers since I really enjoyed this book and think you ought to give it a shot!
It’s a quick and entertaining read, I finished it in just about over a day. What I think I liked most about it was just how realistic it is–while I’ve said that about some other books, (which I still believe are reasonably realistic) I feel that Colgan captured the hecticness of the holidays while also capturing a small town vibe and everyday life. I loved how real the characters seemed–their dialogue and interactions with each other just seemed so genuine given the care Colgan took to develop each one.
Moreover, this isn’t simply a feel-good Christmas story all the way through like those Hallmark movies, nor is it trying to teach you a serious lesson, I’m looking at you, Dickens. While I’m sure some lesson can be pulled from it–like to communicate and have patience with your significant other, especially if they’re having a hard time–in my opinion, Sweetshop was a simple, heartwarming story that reflects our collective mental image of Christmas and even community, but with a tad more drama and excitement sprinkled throughout.
I truly think this is a book that anyone could enjoy and don’t have anything negative to say about it! I suppose the only thing I could say is that it’s definitely more of a holiday book that makes me wish I read it slightly closer to actual Christmastime.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Keep an eye out next week for my next post–it’s not a normal review, but rather a surprise!