The small town of Yulethorpe in the English country is beautiful but shops and restaurants are closing. On holiday, Clara Kristensen stops at the local pub where she witnesses the owner of the local toy shop, an eccentric woman called Louisa, announce that she is leaving to move to Spain. Looking for some stability, Clara offers to house-sit and look after the shop while Louisa is away. Seeing the potential to draw more business, Clara works hard in the shop with the help of her two new friends, Lauren and the pub owner, Gavin. Her hard work is rewarded with more customers but there are two people who don’t seem happy about Clara’s success - Roz who wants to buy the shop, and Louisa’s son, Joe, who would like to sell the shop to assure a future for his mother. Joe is obsessed with his job in the City and, to win him over, Clara tries to get him to relax via the Danish lifestyle of hygge.
What I liked most about this book is the characters. They are honest and relatable and you can’t help liking them. My favourite is Louisa who is funny, blunt and exuberant. Set in the atmospheric English countryside, this is an enjoyable and heart-warming novel that, true to its hygge title, will make you light candles and drink hot chocolate to relax. (NP)
Isobel Graves left England to make it as a TV presenter in glamorous LA. But after two years spent dressed as a prawn or a tomato handing out leaflets, she decides she has had enough and wants to try to get the life she keeps dreaming about. A life that involves her childhood husband Andrew Parker. She only needs to find him. Flying from LA to London to a small island in Malaysia, Iz faces hilarious challenges in search of the man who could be The One.
This is a hilariously brilliant novel. I loved the character of Isobel – she’s funny, sweet, a good friend, and a Harry Potter lover (“I do secretly believe that if I hope enough somewhere Hogwarts does exist and one day I will receive my letter telling me I am a witch and I can go there and my patronus would be a squirrel.”). I kept laughing out aloud at the funny and weird situations in which she found herself in, from the attack of a family of monkeys to cleaning turtle poo from a tank. A real page-turner I couldn’t put down. (NP)
After finding out that her fiance cheated on her, Eve decides to take a break from her work and her glamorous life in London to spent a month in a small village on the Isle of Wight to learn pottery. While she tries to get over her heartbreak, she meets the handsome Greg, who teaches her to cook and to enjoy life again. But Greg is hiding something and Eve is not sure she can trust him.
This funny and enjoyable story set during Christmas includes recipes that made me wish it was already Christmas. The characters are funny and lovable and Eve’s hilarious and nosy family made me laugh out aloud. How to Stuff Up Christmas is romantic, atmospheric, and entertaining and I really enjoyed reading it. (NP)
Nicola Brown is a super-organised girl, who is also extremely conscious about what passes through her lips. Her punctuality is her forte. She's also dedicated, passionate and single. So when Nicola is dared by a colleague to go on as many dates as possible in order to find her Valentine, she hastily accepts and her quest for love begins. If it was only that easy to find true love! After going on way too many crazy, weird and disastrous dates, Nicola starts to feel that she may never find the right man but her destiny is not going to let her down - not this time.
This book has some really strong characters and there's plenty of humour. I could relate to Nicola totally but sometimes she is just not herself. I love Rosie's writing but at places I felt it needed some work. Overall, it's a nice, quick read perfect for a weekend escape. (SS)