Baking and reading – two of my passions wrapped up in one book – what’s not to like? Fiona Gibson writing as Ellen Berry returns to Rosemary Lane in Burley Bridge and this time stops off at the Bakery. Read on to find a delicious extract and if it whets your appetite you can order a copy here. (Sorry, I’ll stop with the puns now!)
Extract from Chapter Two
‘You don’t fancy a weekend up at my sister’s, do you?’ she ventured as they were handed dessert menus.
‘Uh, what for?’ he asked.
‘Remember I mentioned it? She’s having a party at her bookshop . . .’
‘Oh, yeah – what’s that all about again?’
‘Remember I told you she’d spent her share of her inheritance from Mum on buying the dilapidated shop next door, so she can expand her empire?’ She beamed at him hopefully.
‘Er, yeah,’ Sean said vaguely, clearly not remembering at all. To him, Yorkshire was just part of that mysterious territory called ‘The North’ – supposedly cold and uninviting, inhospitable to human life. Many of her colleagues were of the same opinion. Roxanne found it amusing and quite baffling, this fear of venturing further than a couple of hours’ drive up the M1.
‘Well, she’s had the two places knocked into one,’ she continued, ‘and she’s having a party to celebrate the opening of the new, double-sized bookshop.’ She paused. She had mentioned this too – several times. ‘So, d’you fancy coming up with me?’
He frowned. ‘What, to your sister’s? C’mon, Rox – you don’t need me there.’
Frustration bubbled inside her now, but she tried to keep her tone light. It was his birthday, after all, and the last thing she wanted was a tetchy exchange. ‘I don’t need you there, but I’d like you to be. Why is that so weird to you?’
‘Oh, baby, it’s not weird.’ He touched her hand across the table.
She forced a smile, trying to ignore the slight prickling sensation behind her eyes. ‘So, why are you so reluctant to come to Yorkshire with me?’
‘Because there’s nothing there?’ His crooked grin indicated that he was teasing.
‘How can you say that?’
‘Honey, I’m joking . . .’
‘Don’t you want to see where I grew up?’ She paused to sip her wine. ‘Aren’t you curious?’
‘Rox, darling.’ He squeezed her hand tightly. ‘You told me you couldn’t wait to get away – that once you’d been offered your first London job you made a little chart to stick on the inside of your wardrobe, where you’d cross off the days . . .’
‘Okay,’ she conceded, ‘but it still has charm – it’s beautiful, actually – and I’d love you to meet Della and see her shop. She’s put her heart and soul into it . . .’
‘I know, it sounds amazing . . .’
‘Shall we go, then?’
‘Uh, sure, babe. We can go sometime. Just leave it with me, okay?’
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Back of the book details
If you want to move forward, sometimes you have to go back …
Prepare to fall in love with beautiful village of Burley Bridge.
Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.
But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.
Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?
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Check out the book, The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane, by Ellen Berry, as featured on the Portobello Book Blog.