Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams
Publishing date: 2012
Rosie lives in London, sharing a flat with her long time boyfriend and working as a nurse. She seems to be happy about the way things are at the moment, but then she's forced to leave her comfortable life in a city and go to help her great-aunt Lilian in a faraway conutryside. Lilian is getting too old for living alone, and her abandoned sweet shop has to be sorted out by someone. Rosie isn't delighted with the idea, but apparently she's the only one who can help. Perhaps Lilian isn't the only one with the need of a help, though. Maybe the change of the surroundings is just what Rosie needs to realise what is lacking in her life...
"I think love is caramel. Sweet and fragant; always welcome. It is the gentle golden colour of a setting harvest sun; the warmth of a squeezed embrace; the easy melting of two souls into one and a taste that lingers even when everything else has melted away. Once tasted it is never forgotten."
I can definitely see a change in my reading sphere lately. It used to be primerily Young Adult genre I tended to read when I was looking for a relaxation or some kind of distraction, whereas nowadays it's more chick-lit novels that do the job for me. Jenny Colgan is very well known and praised chick-lit writer, but this was actully my first experince of reading her. My mum and also grandmother both love her books dearly, though, so it was only the matter of time for me to finally pick up one of her works. Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams is the first book in sort of a trilogy, if you will. And I am so glad I read it this month, because the next two books in the series actually take places during Christmas time, and so I would like to read them in December, if possible. This first book was pretty seasonal itself and I loved all the talk about sweets, which made it feel even more festive.
Jenny Colgan's book was a perfect abreaction during this time of the year. I really enjoyed reading about Rosie's adventures in a village far away from London, as well as about her great-aunt's heartwrenching love story. I could very well relate to both of them and was really intrigued to see what was going to happen in their lives. Coming back to their stories at the end of the day was a great pleasure to me. And I simply can't wait to meet them again in the two following books. I also enjoyed the description of the country life. It was sweet and endearing, as well as hilariously funny at times, but also utterly honest. The plot skipped between the history and present time, but it was done very well, and I always found myself totally absorbed in both parts of the story. The only reason why I gave if four out of five stars was that the conversations between the characters didn't always seem realistic. But it was such a beautiful book in so many other prospects that I was only glad to overlook this little vice...