Mary Simses is on the blog today with her soon to be a television movie for the Hallmark channel story – landing us in a small Maine town. Please read on for my review of
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café
Starting out with this story, it does feel like it will transition comfortably to the screen: and be a standard entrant in that channel’s regular fare: nothing wholly exciting, happy-ish ending, where the setting and the underlying story are well suited to a passive hour or two of watching. Unfortunately, for me, the wholly dislikable heroine with her touch of superiority, her rather stereotypical view of small towns (which unfortunately was reinforced by the lack of place development – or compelling secondary characters) all served to form the framework for a mystery. Why did her grandmother stop painting and end up in Beacon?
Slow to engage, Ellen is one of those people that is sent on a quest to find her grandmother’s dying wish, with the delivery of a letter. A woman who seems to have made choices for her life by deciding which path would be most acceptable rather than intriguing, she’s caught up in the race for style points – as she defies logic and reason and sets out for Maine. But her arrival and plans to stay only a day are quickly shattered as she discovers a bit of mystery and seeks to unravel the clues.
Being honest, this book didn’t hold my attention – and the descriptions, while well written, seemed to have been picked from a tourism guide and were too glossy and generalized to give the town any flavor at all. While many people dream of a simpler life, and making that choice is not always the easy one, I just had too hard a time believing in Ellen’s journey and her choices – or perhaps her reasons for those choices: much like we aren’t really given her reasoning, there was little emotional connection to her grandmother’s story – or discovering what choices she faced – or why she chose what she did. Overall, this story was one that could be about anyone going to a small town from the big city, with only momentary flashes that brought interest or the place to life. Without development or real growth that felt palpable shown for Ellen, and an unbelievably dramatic transformation for her mother to caring and empathetic, there were large parts of the story that just missed in a rush to make a happy ending. A rush that left me hanging and wondering just how we arrived there.
Title: The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe
Author: Mary Simses
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Mystery Elements, Small Town
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Published on: 9 July, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 15 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
* Tune in to the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel on October 2nd, 2016 for the premiere of
The Irresistible Blueberry Farm,
based on Mary Simses' bestselling THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFÉ *
A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown. Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish--to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine.
What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough.
THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is a warm and delicious debut about the power of a simpler life.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.