Mini Review: Sweetshop of Dreams and Christmas at Rosie Hopkins's Sweetshop
Sweetshop of Dreams
By Jenny Colgan
Published: August 5, 2014
Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong.
Rosie's life is...comfortable. And even though she might like to pursue a more rewarding career, and Gerard doesn't seem to have any plans to propose, Rosie's not complaining. Things could be worse. Right?
Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton's sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. When her great-niece Rosie arrives to help her with the shop, Lillian struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, and wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully colored sweets.
But as Rosie gets Lilian back on her feet, breathes a new life into the candy shop, and gets to know the mysterious and solitary Stephen-whose family seems to own the entire town-she starts to think that settling for what's comfortable might not be so great after all.
A charming, heartwarming story of nostalgic sweets and finding yourself, fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner and Jill Mansell will be craving sweets and a romance of their own.
I decided to give this book a try after reading The Bookshop on the Corner. There are some similarities between the two stories with both women at career crossroads, leaving the big city for rural/village life. In this case, Rosie goes to stay with her great aunt Lilian and takes over running her sweetshop. Unlike The Bookshop on the Corner however, there is also the story of Lilian as a young woman, set in the 1940s.
I enjoyed reading about village life and all the charming and eccentric characters Rosie meets. Rosie was a likable protagonist and I was glad to see her start to blossom in her new environment. The romance wasn't my favorite aspect though I did warm to Stephen later. I really liked Lilian's storyline but I love historical fiction set during that time period so that wasn't a surprise. I wasn't very familiar with a lot of the sweets mentioned but some of them did sound kind of tasty. The book also includes recipes. Overall I thought reading this book was like wrapping up in a throw blanket with a hot cup of tea on a snowy day. Pure comfort reading.
Christmas in Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop
By Jenny Colgan
Published: October 13, 2015
It’s a white Christmas in England, and Rosie Hopkins is feeling festive: Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, luscious chocolate boxes, and happy, sticky children, and she and her boyfriend are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their families.
But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their charming town, all of Rosie's plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she and her loved ones see their way through the difficult times?
Sweet and soulful, heartbreaking and heartwarming, this is the perfect novel for the holidays (or any time of year).
Parts of this book are very lighthearted, namely the fact that Rosie's mom and brother (with wife and kids in tow) are about to arrive from Australia but Rosie hasn't told Stephen yet and they don't have room for them at their little cottage. There are also the usual small town shenanigans. The darker part is the tragedy that occurs as well as a link to Lilian's past. Rosie is also hoping that Stephen will propose soon or at least discuss the future of their relationship. Of course everything comes to a head at Christmas. I thought this was another charming read and enjoyed returning to the village of Lipton and reading about the various characters. Overall I enjoyed this sequel to The Sweetshop of Dreams and I was glad there was one more story to read (The Christmas Surprise).