Chocolate fudge, butterscotch and raspberry bonbons… treat yourself to some sugary treats, a big slice of friendship and a sprinkling of romance at The Beachside Sweet Shop.
When Marnie Appleton inherited a sweet shop from her grandfather she was determined to do his legacy proud. The shop has been a much-loved feature of the little seaside town of Shipley for years, but now Marnie needs to bring it up to date, and she’s recruited gorgeous new assistant Josh to help.
Marnie gets busy redecorating the shop and choosing delicious new sweets to stock, but things are never that simple: new neighbour Isobel, a fame-hungry blogger, is on a crusade against sugar, and she’ll go to any lengths to secure bad publicity for Marnie’s shop.
Marnie fights back with homemade sugar-free treats, but with her best friend Beth heavily pregnant, her grandmother Celia recovering from an operation, and her very recently ex-boyfriend Alex returning to Shipley with a new love, Marnie has a lot on her plate.
And then there’s Josh, with whom Marnie is struggling to keep her relationship strictly professional…Will both the sweet shop and love flourish?
A deliciously heartwarming read about family, friends and handmade coconut ice. Perfect for fans of Cressida McLaughlin, Debbie Johnson, and Tilly Tennant.
What does TWG think?
Ahhh do you remember the good ol’ days, usually a Saturday, when you were given pocket-money from your parents and there was only ONE place that was guaranteed your ‘hard earned’ change? Every Saturday, my mum used to give my brother and I anything from 50p-£1 to spend on sweets, and we always went to the same place; Churchills. The sort of sweet shop where, in the mid-nineties, 50p would get you a heck load of sherbet pips! As soon as I saw the title of Karen Clarke’s novel, it brought back so many childhood memories which were all centred around that one particular sweet shop. It didn’t even matter whether you dabbled in the sugary treats every so often, or whether you inhaled them as though they were the last sweets on Earth (every.single.week), you just had to visit your local sweet shop.
Marnie Appleton is under a lot of pressure (pressure which she has put on herself no less), as she tries to keep her grandfather’s memory alive by keeping his bricked ‘baby’, aka his heart and soul open; The Beachside Sweet Shop. After Marnie’s grandfather passed away, most of the family seemed more willing to eat the liquorice and bon-bons themselves, rather than serve the residents of Shipley those treats. Marnie didn’t want to let her late grandfather down and was determined to keep the shop going in a way she knew that he would approve of. However, the best laid plans don’t always go the way you want them to.
As I mentioned near the beginning of this review, Karen Clarke’s tantalizing novel brought back so many memories for me, it was lovely to be able to reminisce about things with people you don’t even know; the characters. I felt as though Marnie had bitten off more than she could chew and part of me wondered whether her heart was truly IN the sweet shop, or that she wasn’t taking it over because people expected her to. Karen’s descriptions of the shop’s interior, the sweets and even smaller things like the paper bags that they were put in, was beautifully written. She didn’t rush over the items in the shop, she took her time in letting the reader know everything about the sweet shop as if she was describing it to one of her good friends. I warmed to the storyline even more so because of that.
Even though Karen Clarke’s novel seems to be centred around one thing in particular, there is a lot more to the storyline that meets the eye. At first I thought I was going to get an insane sugar rush from the book and its contents, but what I actually got was a clever, in depth storyline which contained a lot of depth and giggles. The Beachside Sweet Shop really is an enjoyable place to visit, and, thanks to Karen Clarke, the storyline tickled my taste buds in more ways than one. It wasn’t just school children and sweeties, it was more about who had your back….whilst eating sweets. Make sense?
The Beachside Sweet Shop is a really enjoyable, fun and sweet read, full of good friendships, lost memories, good intentions and finding the right recipe to move forward. For me, some of the characters weren’t as memorable as I would have liked them to be, it didn’t stop me from having fun with this book.
The Beachside Sweet Shop really is the ideal read for just letting go and distracting yourself from the outside word.
Thank you Bookouture.
Huge thank you to Bookouture for asking me to be involved in the blog tour for The Beachside Sweet Shop by Karen Clarke! We have now come to the end of the tour, so I really hope you haven’t stuffed your faces with too much sugar. If you haven’t, here are all of the blogs which were involved in this tour (in case you wish to dabble)!
After giving up her job as a library assistant, Karen now writes full-time. She’s had over 300 stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, and has written three paranormal romantic comedies, published by Little, Brown/Corsair. When she’s not writing she reads avidly, walks dogs at her local rescue centre, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.