Not overtly Christmassy

‘Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet shop’ – Jenny Colgan

4-star-rating

18172194

Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish Delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She’s going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can’t wait.

But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community, all of Rosie’s plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what’s best for the sweetshop also what’s best for Rosie?

Yes, reading a book with ‘Christmas’ in the title when the big man himself isn’t due to come for another nine months does sound crazy however, ‘Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop’ isn’t as festive as you might think. And that’s what I think makes it a good all-year-rounder. Plus, not to mention that all the snow is actually rather topical at the moment.

Ok, so honestly, I started reading this nearly three years ago. Life got busy and here I am finding the time and desire to read again. I started from the beginning and found myself slipping in to the ‘sweet shop’ world that Colgan so easily creates. It’s not a hard book to get into and you certainly don’t need to have read any of the other series recently to get your teeth into the plot. Rosie and her sweet shop make a welcome return in this sweet (no pun intended) albeit predictable tale of the snowy village of Lipton at Christmas time.

The developing plot has some unexpected turns that definitely made the predictable story line more enjoyable and this is what made me rate this a solid four stars. It’s certainly not a slushy romance and, whilst there were a few chuckling points, I enjoyed the surprise of the story. The ending was satisfying as women’s fiction goes and all became right with the world, as it should, because it is Christmas time, after all. There is less focus on Lilian and her past this time, as Rosie has now stepped up to run the sweet shop. I think this was obviously lacking in the plot and wonder if Colgan could have elaborated more on this, particularly in the second half of the novel.

All being said, this is a decent tale to read. It’s worthy of a cosy blanket and a decent cup of tea… so probably not one to pick up when the weather is glorious outside. However, if you are after a feel good factor book where happiness is found by all, then this offering is one that shouldn’t be ignored, whatever the time of year.

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