You know what I love about books…? The fact that you can fall in love with them over and over again. And it just never gets old. I picked up Jenny Colgan’s Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery a few days ago because I wanted to write about the little beach street bakery books on here. The plan was to just quickly scan through it in order to re-fresh my memory. Well, it surely started off as a quick scan. But it ended up turning into a full-time reading session at the bus stop (try turning pages with wool-gloves, it’s surprisingly difficult! :)), in front of my locked apartment (thank you boyfriend <3) and finally on my couch. And it was amazing.
Even now, I’m sitting here and I don’t really know where to begin. There are so many things I want to talk to you about. But then again I feel like this isn’t the right place to do so because I don’t want to spoil the fun for you :). If you haven’t read Little Beach Street Bakery, go and read that one first. It will just make reading this one so much better and give you a better understanding of the characters and what’s going on in their lives. If you have already read the first little beach street bakery book then make sure to read this one as well. It will not disappoint you. I promise.
The story follows Polly as she loses her job and has to start from scratch. Again. It takes off to America with Huckle as he tries to earn some money on his brother’s farm in order to support himself and Polly back in the lighthouse. It spends many pages on Selina, late fisherman Tarnie’s wife, as she finds her way out of her grieve and back into life. And of course it couldn’t be told without including Neil the puffin who always puts bags over his head and genuinely think that he’s a person.
“Neil shook his head sharply and fluttered up and down in the air to make sure his wings still worked. ‘Don’t put bags on your head,’ said Polly. ‘Don’t talk to strangers, don’t let anyone touch your special area, and ESPECIALLY don’t put bags on your head. How many times have we been through this? And fly over the road, don’t walk.'” – Summer at little Beach Street Bakery
Who wouldn’t love a book with a lovely Puffin like Neil, in it? Right? But Neil certainly isn’t the only selling point of this little gem. I love the relationship between Polly and Huckle because it is real. It isn’t overly romanticized because they do have their share of problems. They constantly have to deal with financial issues and relationships really don’t get any easier when you’re living on different continents. But there is something so sweet about the way they make fun of each other, listen to each other, quarrel with each other and always support each other. And even when there are some tough decisions to make, Huckle always (well most of the time) knows what to do and how to stay calm.
But even with all that, what I love most about this book is Polly. She doesn’t always have her sh** together. Not by far. But she never gives up. Even when everything gets really tough, she just keeps on going, standing up once more than she has fallen down. Polly might not be a supermodel or have lots and lots of money, but she has everything else. She is kind, funny, brave, independent, selfless, caring, modest, hard-working and so much more. She wouldn’t trade her simple and quiet life for anything in the world, no matter how much easier she could make life for herself. And that’s what I admire about her. I wish, I could have a fraction of her courage and her fearless independence. Because it takes a lot of courage to start anything from scratch, let alone something that you’ve just managed to turn into some kind of success before it all fell apart.
I picked up this book preparing myself for a “mandatory” read that I wanted to be done with as fast as possible. And it ended up being the highlight of my day. I feel so much more inspired and ready to tackle the next day and my life. Which really is all that books are meant to do.
So thank you, Jenny Colgan, for bringing Polly into my life and for showing me that sometimes all it takes is a bit of courage to turn a crappy situation into a great one.