Ellen Berry is on the blog today with her most recent woman’s fiction title, where the protagonist finds several choices and options in a life she once thought settled. Please read on for my review of
The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane
A story about the growth and changes of Roxanne, a late 40-something single woman that loves her job as a Fashion Director, is hoping for more from her photographer-boyfriend Sean, and now is faced with major changes at work. Leaving the small Yorkshire town at 18, to work her dream job: things have settled in for her professionally, even as she wonders if her personal life will ever move into that next step. But, a big shake up at work, followed by a rather disastrous 50th birthday party for Sean lead to her taking a sabbatical (she planned to quit) and she’s off to visit her sister Della and her little specialty bookshop.
From the earliest moments, Roxanne is a bit ditzy but brilliantly creative, with a large streak of insecurity about her own capabilities outside of fashion. What saves her from being annoying is the intention: she wants to see everyone in the best light possible, she wants to cheer on other people’s success, she wants to be accepted and encouraged and find her place. But, she’s frustrated with people’s tendency to see her as ‘full of London airs’, assuming her days are spent in fashion houses with lattes and late nights. Uncomfortable with her own ability to make things work, a belief reinforced by her sister’s behavior and seeing her as her little sister, not a grown woman, it takes Roxanne a bit to find a comfortable place for herself back home. With a nudge toward a man in Michael, the owner of the new bakery, she’s still mindful of the presence of Sean in her life, even if that presence is mostly ill-timed telephone calls and late night visits.
This was an escape and get away read about a woman who has escaped home again to find her new direction. Many different scenes allow Roxanne to use her own particular brand of creative problem solving to create a result, and her own discoveries about herself, her relationship with her sister, and even the relationship with Sean. Each new discovery seems to lighten the weight on her heart: while she’s solidly aware that her love of fashion is frivolous and that the effort she feels is needed to exist in that world is responsible for countless hours of primping, preening and polish, she does have a knack for visualizing the pretty, a knack that many could use. With her disappointment in Sean’s behavior and the new friendship with Michael, though she’s managed to survive as a singleton for years, the opportunity for a relationship that she’s longed for may be harkening. Even as the story ended without a final defined ‘this is what happens” for Roxanne, and the moments about the bakery were minimal – and perhaps the story should have been retitled, this was a clever, well-developed and beautifully character driven story, full of heart and those questions we all face at different points in our lives.
Title: The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane
Author: Ellen Berry
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Harper Collins
Published on: 7 September, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 27 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
If you want to move forward, sometimes you have to go back …Prepare to fall in love with beautiful village of Burley Bridge.
Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.
But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.
Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?
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.