Monday, 18 April 2011 / No comments

Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe - Jenny Colgan

I haven't had much of a chance to read over the last week. My sister and niece were visiting from Australia and so we were out and about quite a bit. I did manage to order Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe for my Kindle, however, and it had arrived when I turned my Kindle on to check on Thursday morning and I finished reading Sunday night.

I first discovered Jenny Colgan almost 10 years ago when I picked up Looking for Andrew McCarthy in a little book store in Melbourne. A quick look at the reviews on Amazon tells me it's a bit of a Marmite book, with polarised reviews, but I obviously enjoyed it because every time I went into a book store I had a look to see if she had any other books out. Over the years I've read and enjoyed all of them (some more than others, but all are worth a read). I was delighted to find her on twitter and discover that she is as funny as her books. She replies to tweets as well. Well worth a follow if you like her books.

So, onto this one. Issy was raised by her Grampa Joe. Joe ran a string of bakeries and Issy grew up amid the flour and icing. Joe had her baking from an early age and Issy has continued into her adult life, experimenting with different flavours and trying them out on her friends and colleagues. When she finds herself suddenly jobless, Issy turns her hobby into a career. Will her relationship with boss Greame survive? Or will banking advisor Austin steal her heart?

This is a lovely read. The supporting characters are well rounded and have interesting side stories of their own. I especially liked single mum Pearl and I fell in love with Austin in the Head Teacher's office. A couple of scenes with Grampa Joe had me in tears. The outcome might be what you'd expect, but there are a couple of surprises for the supporting characters and Issy's is an enjoyable journey, no matter the destination.

Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe definitely takes advantage of the current fashion for cupcakes. Each chapter opens with a recipe, reflecting the events of that chapter. I think the Getting What You Want lemon cake is my favourite and I'll definitely be trying a few of them. There's also a nice little surprise at the end for those planning a Royal Wedding afternoon tea.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my daughter and I are going to make some cupcakes. Vanilla with strawberry buttercream, I think.
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