Meet Me at the Cupcake Café book review
Meet Me at the Cupcake Café, Jenny Colgan, book review
Published by Sphere, London.
We’ve all done it haven’t we? Sat at our desks or on a sweaty commuter train dreaming of somewhere else, a more easy-going lifestyle, perhaps with a sweet smell of vanilla cupcakes baking all day long? Or is that just me?
Then there are the people that make that dream a reality. That’s exactly what Izzy Randall does in Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe when she’s made redundant from her super-dull ‘9-5’ City job. Stood at the bus stop in the rain, she decides to turn her passion for baking into her own delicious fairy tale café hidden down a cobbled street in her beloved Stoke Newington.
Of course, it can’t all be sprinkles and smiles, especially when it’s your boyfriend who makes you redundant, and you haven’t really got the cash to splash on rent on your own flat, never mind a café. The only thing Izzy really has is a dream and a stash of recipes from her old Grampa.
In true Colgan style we can all see a bit of ourselves or our best friend in the leading lady. You’ll love Izzy’s dreamy and warm personality from the first chapter and be able to relate to her frustration with a boring job, average apartment and the girly gossips with Helena, her hilarious flatmate. All the characters in Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe are very different ‘twenty-something’s’, each with their own story linked to Izzy or her new venture. You’ll quickly find yourself wanting to serve them a slice of cake and for everything to work out for each of them.#
We all know it wouldn’t be authentic chick-lit without a man-related melodrama. Sitting nicely alongside Izzy’s baking dreams throughout the book are huge servings of ‘nice guy vs super-rich ex’ decision making moments, which at times leave you screaming at her to hurry up and choose one. Problem is, both guys could potentially be ‘Mr Right’ – it took me a while to decide if I loved or loathed the ex-boss, non-committal (but super-smooth and loaded) Graeme or not. But wait until you meet her new bank manager, hmm?!
You can almost visualise yourself sat on a sofa at the Cupcake Café when reading the book. You can imagine Izzy offering you her latest bakery offering, the sound of the coffee machine bubbling away behind the counter and the sweet scents wafting from the basement kitchen. It’s easy to forget you’re not also waiting for a new letter from Grampa along with a delicious and heart-warming recipe.
It’s a perfect read for any cupcake fanatic who’s dreamt of having a little café with a huge oven and heaps of flour and frosting at their fingertips. A definite sweet-treat of a summer read, but my advice would be to have the oven pre-heated, because the only thing you’ll want to put the book down for is to do some baking yourself.
Anyway, on top of the girly-goodness of Colgan’s latest offering, what’s not to love about a gorgeous girly book with real recipes at the start of chapters? I’m off to bake ‘Helena’s Secret Donuts’ right now…
© Sarah Robertson. August 2011