Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara

The blossom is out in the little Cornish harbour town of St Felix
But Poppy Carmichael's spirits aren't lifted by the pretty West Country spring. Inheriting her grandmother's flower shop has forced her to return to Cornwall, a place that holds too many memories. 
Poppy is determined to do her best for the sake of her adored grandmother, but she struggles with the responsibility of the more-shabby-than-chic shop. And with the added complication of Jake, the gruff but gorgeous local flower grower, Poppy is very tempted to run away... 
The pretty little town has a few surprises in store for Poppy. With new friends to help her and romance blooming, it's time for Poppy to open her heart to St Felix and to the special magic of a little flower shop by the sea!
Let Ali McNamara, author of the much-loved From Notting Hill with Love...Actually, bring some sparkling sunshine into your life

This is a book you should judge by its cover; the cover is utterly gorgeous and what follows is the most perfect holiday read for summer 2015.  Cornwall is the place to be this year, whether that be for television programmes (dare I mention the Poldark word...), holiday destinations (people are flocking in the hope of seeing Poldark!) or book settings, and Ali McNamara is bang on trend as The Little Flower Shop by the Sea is set in a fictional harbour town in Cornwall, called St Felix.

It has been a while since I was really captivated by a book and felt not only that I didn't want to, but also that I couldn't, put it down.  The Little Flower Shop by the Sea has that magical and magnetic draw to it - I really couldn't put it down! It made me smile, laugh and cry on more than one occasion.

There is a real array of wonderful, and not so wonderful, characters.  My favourite has to be Miley; the descriptions and sentiments that come with Miley are wonderful - she is one special little lady.  I found myself grinning at the page when she was around.

The ease with which I could picture every scene as though I was there is a credit to Ali McNamara's wonderful writing style.  I feel like I have just returned from a holiday in a little harbour town in Cornwall, where I met the most wonderful people and saw the most wonderful things.

There is a magical element to the book, but it is carried out in the most perfect way.  Every turn that Ali McNamara chooses to take her audience down is perfect and when you turn the last page, you will be left utterly satisfied.  The only thing you will most definitely want is more and I feel there is definitely scope for Ali to come back and visit St Felix and Poppy in the future and I, for one, hope she does!

To a degree, this book reminded me of The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh which is also based on the Victorian meaning of flowers.  I think there is something really special about books which cover this topic.

I haven't read an Ali McNamara book since Breakfast at Darcy's which I loved and her latest offering lived up to my expectations and then outshone them.  The Little Flower Shop by the Sea is a lovely tale of sunshine, old and new friends, love, friendship, magical places and new beginnings.

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea is out on 30 July 2015.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

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