Little Beach Street Bakery
by Jenny Colgan
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks in March 2015.
Polly’s life is falling apart. The business she built with her long term boyfriend Chris has crumbled, taking her relationship right along with it. The bank has seized their Plymouth flat to pay off their debts, Chris is moving back home with his mum, and Polly is left homeless on the couch of her best friend Kerensa. Now on a tight budget, Polly comes to realize she’s never going to be able to afford a place in the city. On a whim, she moves into a run-down apartment in Mount Polbearne, a small, struggling fishing village in Cornwall.
Jobless, but no longer homeless, Polly begins to figure out who she is and thinks about what she wants out of life, when before she was only worried about what sulky Chris needed. The men in town all seem drawn to Polly, partly because she’s new to the area, and she has a fling with a local fisherman. She also finds herself attracted to an American beekeeper. But the romantic relationships are the least interesting part of Little Beach Street Bakery.
A cute and comforting read, my favorite part of this story was Polly’s struggle to find her place in the world after everything falls apart. What does she want out of life? Can a person give up everything they thought they needed (fancy clothes, expensive apartment and furniture) and still find a way to be happy?
This book also made me want to eat lots and lots of bread. I loved author Jenny Colgan’s descriptions of the bread and Polly’s baking. The Little Beach Street Bakery sounds like such a cute bakery and Polbearne sounds like the quintessential quaint British village.
Also, there is a baby puffin (puffling) that Polly takes in and names Neil and Neil is adorable. All books should have puffins in them.
Despite Polly’s struggles with the bakery, her grumpy landlord, romantic drama and financial woes, Polly maintains her optimism and refuses to dwell on the negatives of life. I really enjoyed her positive outlook on life, and the book’s promise that life can be what you want it to be.