Book Review: Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan

Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.


Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their townhouse, she has to move miles away from everyone, to the sleepy little seaside resort of Polbearne, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.

And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it.

Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.


With its sequel Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery coming out tomorrow, it only seems right to post a review of Little Beach Street Bakery first.

I have been a HUGE Jenny Colgan fan since I first read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe years a go, and she really is an author that does not disappoint. Time and time again she releases these gorgeous, beautiful, delicious books that are just perfect, and never let me down.

Rule number 1 that I have previously learnt: Never pick up a Jenny Colgan book on an empty stomach. Little Beach Street Bakery was certainly no exception to this. The scrumptious descriptions of food and baking will make you swear you can physically smell the delicious aromas of fresh bread, and leave your mouth watering and your stomach rumbling.

When Polly’s life with Chris comes crashing down around them, she truly has lost everything, and is in desperate need of a totally fresh start. Well, Polbearne is certainly about as different and removed from her previous life as she could have hoped to get. Her best friend Kerensa thinks she’s crazy, but as Polly views the flat above the abandoned shop, on the remote island off Cornwall, something seems to click, and she decides to leave Plymouth for Polbearne. After all…she doesn’t exactly have much choice, does she?

What I loved so much about this book, was watching Polly come to life. On this crazy little rock of an island, she suddenly found herself and her passion, which seems to have buried deep down for a long time. You see her absolutely blossom as she gets used to life on Polbearne – and as the people of Polbearne get used to her! (They aren’t exactly the type to welcome outsiders!!) However, this story is certainly not all sunshine and rainbows. This book earns its stripes with some serious heartbreak, tragedy and struggle, which makes it all the more connectable and realistic.

The people of Polbearne made for a wonderfully colourful cast of characters – from stern and scary Mrs Manse, to the charming fisherman, Tarnie, the sweet American bee keeper, Huckle, and his eccentric, uber-rich friend, Reuben. Everyone Polly met added a rich and warm flavour to her life and to the book. And then there is Neil. OH SWEET DARLING NEIL. I challenge you not to love him. You can’t, it’s just not possible! Neil is Polly’s puffin companion, who literally comes crashing into her life and steals her heart. And mine. And probably yours too. I love him.

So in a round about way, what I’m trying to say, is please immediately go out and buy every single Jenny Colgan book you can find, and read them at once. Especially Little Beach Street Bakery: you will not regret it.

Rating: star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating

Release date: 13 March 2014
Publisher: Sphere
Amazon UK
Amazon US


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan | Paris Baker's Book Nook

  2. Pingback: [Book Talk] The Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery, #1) by Jenny Colgan | Reading In Winter

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