With warm feelings, I finished the book wearing a smile on my face. There's a comfortable sweetness to it with a bit of good fun and budding romance. It left me in a lighthearted demeanor that propels me to savor the beauty of surroundings, the charms of people and celebration of family and friendships despite all the aggravation, which is what the book mostly is about.
The first of the series, The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe introduces us to Annie White who finds herself being the owner of an old rundown cafe (which serves delicious cherry pies) in Cherry Pie Island, one of the islands in the middle of Thames near London. By description, it looked like a quiet picturesque community a few hours away from the city and its idyll appeal makes one want to live there.
Annie White grew on me like a good old pal. She wasn't so thrilled staying, not to mention owning a cafe, at Cherry Pie Island and her journey in coming to terms with herself, her family and her childhood home has been filled with engaging and hilarious moments (secrets and old antics notwithstanding). As she and a handful of friends set out to renovate the cafe, slowly, the magic of island life beckons to her once again.
For a moment, I dreaded to expect a little romantic angst somewhere but I'm glad Jenny Oliver didn't even bother with it and instead focused on what mattered most. It is a quick and cozy read (and far too short, at least) leaving me wanting for more. Good thing the second book is coming out soon!
Welcome to Jenny Oliver’s brand new Cherry Pie Island series!
There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming.
When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say Dandelion Café has definitely seen better days! Her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London as she remembers - but Annie’s not convinced that new owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’s thrilled about.
One (shoestring budget) makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But however delicious the legendary cherry pie, that’s definitely not enough to make her come home for good. However, the islanders themselves are a different story – but is Annie ready to let the island, and all those that live there, become her recipe for true happiness?
The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café is Book 1 in The Cherry Pie Island series. Each part of Cherry Pie Island can be read and enjoyed as a standalone story – or as part of the utterly delightful series.
Title: The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe
Author: Helena Fairfax
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women Fiction, Chick Lit
Published: MuseItUp Publishing
Publisher: August 30, 2013
Rating: ♨♨♨♨ ( 4 cups - A feel-good read, if I must say, with a nice cup of coffee and cherry pie (preferably from Dandelion Cafe)