This was my first Jenny Colgan book. My wife bought it for me because I’d said that it was good to see a novel that set out simply to bring its readers some happiness. The book kept its promise.
There was enough plot to keep me turning the pages, enough character definition to want the heroine to win through and choose the right guy in the end and enough contemporary British context to give a distinctive time and place.
Jenny Colgan has such a light touch that’s it’s possible to fail to notice how well she writes. There are no wasted words and all the ingredients are perfectly balanced. As with the cupcakes that she describes, the success of the novel comes from have “real” ingredients (people and situations that I recognise) prepared with love.
Love is at the centre of this novel: the possibility for love and happiness created by the very existence of the café and the cupcakes it serves, the love she has for her baker grandfather and the craft that he’s taught her, the love for other people despite their flaws and despite their diverse backgrounds.
This books is about the triumph of hope and authentic passion over greed and selfishness. It is about having a life, not a lifestyle.
And of course it has great cupcake recipes.
If you need something baked with love and leavened with hope in your life, take a few hours off and spend some time at thc Cupcake Cafe.
Go here for a review of “Meet Me At The Cupcake Café” by Degrees of Affection