Meet me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan.
Published: 14th April 2011 by Sphere.
Available on Amazon in multiple formats including paperback and kindle.
‘Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent.
When she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment. Armed with recipes from Grampa, and with her best friends and local bank manager fighting her corner, The Cupcake Café opens its doors. But Issy has absolutely no idea what she’s let herself in for. It will take all the courage – and confectionary – to avert disaster….’
Picking just one of Jenny Colgan’s novels to review first was incredibly difficult, especially as I have several to choose from. It reminded me of when I open my Cookie Monster biscuit tin and try to choose a biscuit; I have a collection of those too so I’m sure you can see the similarities….
I chose the book because it’s about cake, and I like cake…chocolate cake mmmm. Plus, I had the pleasure of reading a couple of Jenny’s books before I got to read this one, she is an incredible writer.
Time to meet Issy. Issy is passionate about all things baking, and thanks to watching her Grampa at work when she was a child; creating delicious treats is all that she has ever known. So instead of fulfilling her dream and following in her Grampa’s footsteps, she became an office worker. However, the city job comes to an end and Issy gets made redundant. Will this be the perfect opportunity for Issy to finally fulfil her dream, or does she come up against yet more obstacles?
After her redundancy, Issy spends time thinking and baking….constantly baking. To see if her dream is actually realistic, she does some research. Along the way she meets a lot of different personalities. Some of those people are more than willing to help her succeed, and the others are quite happy to put up a tent and block her path. Will her Grampa’s advice give her fire to go for it? Or will there be more tents blocking the path? (I’m sure there is a law against that though?)
Do not, under any circumstances, read this book when you’re hungry. Unless of course you have cake, obviously. The amount of delicious treats that Jenny has Issy making is unbelievable. I was salivating. Not on the book, that would be a sacrilege! As always, Jenny Colgan brings you a warm, laugh out loud book that by the end, will make you want to work in The Cupcake Café. Well, I did! Poor Issy goes through a rough time, some of it being quite emotional. You might even end up with something in your eye. Sniff. Despite the humour in the story, it is very heart warming and moving. A story of people joining together for someone they love. Moments of unity. For me personally, having that unity in a story as well as emotion, humour, and cake, it ticked the boxes. With Jenny’s style of writing, she captures the true essence of every individual character and their lives. Because of that, Jenny Colgan makes their lives somewhat relatable to your own life. I found myself getting lost in the book because I felt cosy reading it, and hopefully you will too. It is a brilliant read. Jenny Colgan, you have written yet another smashing novel. It is a pleasure to have you on my shelf! (I’ll give you a cushion, honestly!)