RELEASED: October 31, 2019
PUBLISHER: One More Chapter
GENRE: Christmas fiction
GOODREADS RATING: 4.50
TRIGGERS: Grief, mention of suicide, animal death
The first snow is falling over Primrose Farm, the mince pies are warming, and Rachel can’t wait to share a kiss under the mistletoe with her gorgeous new flame, Tom.
If only it was all comfort and joy . . . The arrival of Tom’s ex brings an unwelcome chill to the farm. And despite Master Baker Mum Jill’s valiant efforts, the new pudding pantry business is feeling the pinch.
With a spoonful of festive spirit, a cupful of goodwill with friends, and her messy, wonderful family by her side, can Rachel make this a Christmas to remember?
The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street isn’t the only Christmas-themed book I read, obviously! As my blog’s name states, I’m all about the munches as well. [Even though it isn’t that present on my blog anymore, oops.] Evidently, I couldn’t resist a title consisting of “pudding pantry”. Curiosity? Present! What I thought? Find out!
The first thing coming to mind is the main character, Rachel. She’s 24, mom and owner of a farm. I’m 27, mom and can hardly handle my own household? You bet your asses I looked up to her from the start, haha. In a way, it was weird reading about such a young character. Especially since I expected it to be all about the romance, but looking back.. it didn’t really influence my reading experience.
The baking-aspect! Boy! There are several recipes throughout the book. Apart from getting me motivated to start baking again, they also caused me to get hungry at the most random moments. I even skipped some because I just.. couldn’t cope with getting all focused on “needing food” at times, haha.
I liked the baking aspect, I liked the recipes even more, but.. I sometimes got annoyed by how often people talked about baking stuff. It started to feel a bit over the top at some point and once I focused on it.. Yup, ruined. It was worst during the first fifth of the book or something. It felt like it was better after that.
Writing-wise, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea. The conversations often felt forced and unnatural which made it harder for me to pick it back up. It should flow, right? Well.. It didn’t. To top things off, everything was described in a very detailed way. Sometimes it helped the story, but at other times it backfired completely by being unnecessary. Some conversations could’ve easily been edited out as well since they added nothing to the story or relationships.
Then there’s the romantic aspect. Instead of seeing characters deal with everything, you get a whole lot of baking and farm stuff and I really expected a beautiful budding romance. I mean, if you read the synopsis, that’s what you’d anticipate, right? Wrong. Let’s summarize: New flame, certain event raises questions, characters do nothing about it for weeks, then finally talk about it. And they’re on neighboring farms. How do you even do that? How do you cope? How is this realistic? It’s not.
This, then, ties together with Rachel’s being. She knows things are off with certain people, she mulls it over in her head to then.. do nothing. I’m more the “let’s talk about it right now“-kind of person, so I got frustrated a lot.. I repeat, a lot.
If.. the things that bothered me wouldn’t bother you, I’d say go ahead and read it. The recipes might be worth it – I definitely plan on trying one or two – but the story itself is one I won’t ever reread, that’s for sure.. Too many things I didn’t like, now that I reread my review for editing..
Would you enjoy this novel?
Are you sometimes tempted to get a book simply for the features in it?
[Like recipes in this one?]