With “Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery,” Jenny Colgan rounds out her stories about little Mount Polbearne, a village on the coast of Cornwall that is isolated from the mainland when the tide comes in, and its lovely baker Polly Waterford, her American boyfriend Huckle, and their puffin Neil.
Polly and Huckle live in a romantic lighthouse that is drafty and cold, but which has beautiful views of the ocean and the town. Polly loves to bake, and Huckle tends bees. They are happy together except for Polly’s uncertainty about marriage and having children, especially considering her family history. She never knew her father, her mother is rather a recluse, and she’s always just too busy with the bakery to plan anything.
Polly’s best friend Kerensa plays a huge role in this story because it’s her problem, explained at the very beginning of the story, that brings about satisfying resolutions to all by the end of this very sweet, very emotional novel.
While turning the pages of the book, the reader will be transported to small-town England and a small village surrounded by the cold sea. The reader will be able to picture snowy afternoons on a cobbled street with a warm bakery and hot cocoa and yummy smells of fresh baked bread wafting everywhere. Readers will want to get their own Aga oven to warm their homes and produce delicious sweets and crusty bread. Readers might even — perhaps — want their own puffin because Neil is such an engaging animal.
“Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery” is an utterly charming and touching story that is perfect to read in a pre-Christmas or post-holiday season. It might even be a good book to read on a sunny, hot beach to remind one of the joys of winter, holidays, good friends, and loving family.
While this book can work as a stand alone read, better yet is to read the first two books in the trilogy, “Little Beach Street Bakery” and “Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery.”
Please note: This review is based on the final, paperback book provided by the publisher, William Morrow, for review purposes.