THE CAKE SHOP IN THE GARDEN

The cake shop in the garden

Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn’t do all this, who will?

Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she’s ever made.

When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay’s entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn’t know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength  to make a life-changing decision – even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?

 

I was pretty much sold on the book from the cover alone. Nothing appeals to my inner-granny more than cakes and tea gardens!

The protagonist, Fey, is frumpy, set in her ways and living a mundane lifestyle that has her bogged down by family commitments. No doubt relatable character traits for many women of a certain age, Love interest Danny Wilde is clearly a manifestation of a generation’s worth of romantic fantasies.

And before I say any more – Danny Wilde. (Talk about an eye-roll moment when I read that name.) He is, quite literally, described in the stereotypical love interest-style of tall, dark and handsome.

As Fey describes him:

I note that he’s tall, very much so, and rangy. Not that I know much about men’s fashion these days, but I think he looks quite edgy. He’s wearing black skinny jeans and big army boots. These are topped with a black T-shirt and a faded grey denim jacket. His hair is also jet-black, cut short at the sides but a riot on top.

And where Danny describes his ideal woman, the cliché develops into the perfect man.

I want someone with depth, warmth. Someone loyal. A woman who cares about others. And who shares my values, my interests.

(Handsome, young, and wanting to date someone based on their personality? Say it ain’t so!)

While I have some doubts regarding the believability of Danny’s perfect character, there are other, more redeemable characters. Lija, with her straight talking sass, and Stan – my favourite by far – who’s all old-time charisma, and had me thinking of Georges Hautecourt from Disney’s The Aristocats.

Progressing through the novel, I found some plot developments became fairly obvious, which was a shame. There were one or two aspects that come as a surprise to the reader, but obvious or not, I did find myself becoming more engaged with the protagonist. She did grow on me as I worked my way through the novel, and the humour – particularly within the first half, before the plot became more interesting – certainly helped. Sure, the story might have some obvious conclusions, but it’s a light, easy read, and makes for a good curl-up-in-front-of-the-fire type of book.

Best served with a cup of tea and slice of cake.

3.5/5

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