Published: 19th June 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
At her beloved husband’s funeral, Carla Pride discovers that Martin never divorced his first wife and has been living a double life with her. And his other wife, Julie Pride, is determined to take everything from Carla – her home, her money, and her memories. When Will Linton’s business goes bust he at least thinks that with the support of his trophy wife Nicole he will rise to the top again. But Nicole isn’t going to stick around with ‘a loser’ and Will finds himself at rock bottom. Molly Jones is being bullied into going into a retirement home by her ‘concerned’ daughter-in-law Sherry and son Gram. Then the love of Molly’s life walks in through her door – a man who broke Molly’s heart into little pieces many years ago. But he says he is dying and wants to spend the time he has left with her. All people in need of a little love and compassion which they find by chance in the stationery and teashop on the corner run by the ever-cheerful Leni, a woman that site developer Shaun McCarthy finds annoying beyond annoying for her ability to remain unrealistically upbeat about everything. But is the world of Leni Merryman as full of rainbows and sparkles as everyone thinks? Or is her smile papering over many cracks in her heart that will soon be shattered unwittingly by her new friends?
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for kindly sending me a review copy along with a little tin of chocolates and a tea sachet.
Chapter One opens very strongly and I may as well say it now: It’s quite possibly, the strongest opening to a chick-lit book. It’s full of depth, emotion, humour, mesmerizing descriptions and a big juicy shock. What more could you ask for? Carla’s story gets off to a very rocky start and I immediately felt sorry for her. I could picture her clearly in the church, sobbing her heart out over a man who wasn’t who he said he was. Leni, the owner of The Teashop On The Corner came across as a very happy-go-lucky person who really enjoyed life. Every time she mentioned a certain cake, my mouth would fill with drool. I desperately wanted to be sat in that little cafe. Molly is a quiet and reserved character who I didn’t particularly like at the beginning. I didn’t think I’d enjoy her story at all, but surprise surprise, I really did. The only character who I didn’t warm to was Will. There was no particular reason for my disliking towards him, he was just a little annoying.
“History was going to be robbed of detail if people weren’t careful.”
When the characters arrive at The Teashop On The Corner, a sudden warmth is added to the plot. They’re supposed to be there and it really did feel like fate was bringing them all together. I strongly enjoyed reading about them all in the same room and I wondered how they’d all connect. When they do, it’s over something beautiful.
“Sometimes you have to give people a chance. They don’t always prove you wrong.”
The plot is smooth and progresses beautifully from chapter to chapter. Towards the end, it becomes rather emotional as characters pour their hearts and souls out. It was a beautifully fitting ending and I’d happily read again. This is Milly’s best novel yet.