There are lots of books out just now which are set in shops and cafes. They make great locations allowing for lots of interraction between staff and customers, as well as the characters’ family and friends. The Little Flower Shop by the Sea is just a little bit different. The main character, Poppy, isn’t a bright and breezy shop owner like you might find in some of the other stories. She’s a bit of a rebel with a fiery temperament who has never wanted to run a flower shop in the first place – in fact she has a phobia of flowers! She has had run-ins with the police in her time and can’t seem to hold down a job. So why has her beloved grandmother Rose left her the family shop? Well of course, I can’t tell you exactly why except to say her grandmother sees the potential in Poppy and believes that she can make a success of the shop and turn her life around.
I loved this book! It was written in such a easy-going conversational style that it almost feels like you are sitting with a friend listing to them telling you about their day. Poppy is a great character who, once she has made up her mind to re-open the shop, is determined to do her best to honour her grandmother’s memory. Ali McNamara gradually reveals just why Poppy is the person she is with a tragedy in her past affecting her throughout her life. And of course, there is an unexpected love interest – or two – for Poppy.
Poppy is just one of many memorable characters in this book, many of whom have some sadness or regret they are trying to come to terms with. Amber, the florist from New York is a fabulous character with her talent for creating ‘special’ bouquets. Jake and Ash are two very different – gorgeous – men whose relationships with Poppy help her in different ways. Caroline, the leader of the Parish Council and Women’s Guild was a horror but hilarious at the same time!
But the flowers and the shop itself are the central part of this lovely book. I loved all the flower references with all of Poppy’s family having flower names, as did the chapter titles. The titles told the traditional meaning of flowers, which reflected a theme in each chapter. I loved the idea of the healing power of flowers – who isn’t cheered up by a bright bouquet of their favourite blooms? I felt this book was about fresh starts, for many of the characters, and about people having the chance to blossom given the right opportunities.
My thanks to the publishers Little, Brown for providing a review copy through Netgalley. The Little Flower Shop by the Sea will be published by Sphere Books on July 30th 2015 and you can pre-order a copy here: The Little Flower Shop by the Sea
What the book is about:
The blossom is out in the little Cornish harbour town of St Felix, but Poppy Carmichael’s spirits aren’t lifted by the pretty West Country spring. Inheriting her grandmother’s flower shop has forced her to return to Cornwall, a place that holds too many memories. Poppy is determined to do her best for the sake of her adored grandmother, but she struggles with the responsibility of the more-shabby-than-chic shop. And with the added complication of Jake, the gruff but gorgeous local flower grower, Poppy is very tempted to run away. The pretty little town has a few surprises in store for Poppy. With new friends to help her and romance blooming, it’s time for Poppy to open her heart to St Felix and to the special magic of a little flower shop by the sea!