Fortunately, this past weekend provided some much needed relief from these dreary late winter dregs and I was able to make a trip to the library. My haul was pretty hefty, as I took home four books(two of which are written by the same author-more on that soon!).
First up was The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan , in hardcover no less! Most of the time, the Colgan novels that I've seen are in paperback, which is great, but reading one in hardcover is a nice change of pace there.
The story is set on the Scottish island of Mure, where hometown girl Flora Mackenzie returns from London reluctantly. The legal firm she works for has a client who wants to make major changes in the community and would prefer a local to negotiate with the residents.
Trouble is, Flora is not the most popular person in town, having left after a harsh exchange of words at her mother's funeral. Regardless, her father and brothers do take her in and when things go badly, Flora discovers a passion for cooking that leads her to opening up a seaside restaurant. Should she make a go of it in Mure or see if those burnt London bridges can be rebuilt?
Colgan is truly gifted with a flair for making small towns come alive on the page, with characters that feel real enough to be walking down your own neighborhood streets. So far, the book is a lively read and one that promises to warm my heart during the chilly days to come:
Using the higher status unexpectedly granted to her, Clara is able to gain a position as a lady's maid to Margaret Carnegie, whose sons Andrew and Tom are meant to do great things.
Clara and Andrew form a friendship based on a shared intellectual interest, with the possibility of his detecting her true identity. However, their bond must be kept hidden,even though they know that it can never enter the realm of the romantic. Since Carnegie founded many a good library in his day, it seems fitting that I get the chance to read this engaging novel about him from a library.
When Ellen Branford decides to grant her grandmother Ruth's dying wish by delivering a letter of apology to the man whose heart she broke about sixty years ago. Ellen chooses to given the letter over in person.
Upon arriving in the town of Beacon,ME, she finds herself in need of rescue from a fall off of a pier and is saved by Roy, who sweeps her off her feet in more ways than one. With Ellen being engaged to another man, this causes a few complications, not to mention learning more about Ruth and that past love of hers.
Turns out, this book was adapted into a made for TV movie(renamed The Irresistible Blueberry Farm) not too long ago and it might be fun to check that out as well:
The Irresistible Blueberry B&C was Simses' debut novel and by the sheer luck of library shelving, her other book happened to be right next to it that day.
The Rules of Love and Grammar has copy editor Grace reexamining her life as a trio of troubles shakes up her regular routine. To get a chance to clear her head, Grace goes home to her folks in Connecticut with the stated reason being plans for her father's birthday.
While there, she runs into her former high school sweetheart, a well known film director who is making a movie right in their hometown. As Grace tries to regain his attention and refocus her life, she soon realizes that not everything can be fixed by a flick of her red copy edit pen.
Usually, I don't pick up a pair of books by someone I've never read before,library or otherwise. However, upon looking through one of them at a quiet table in my local library reading lounge, it became clear to me that not getting both that day would be a literary regret that I didn't want to have:
So, hopefully by the time that I will have finished with all of these books and bring them back, spring will have finally sprung some wonderful warm weather upon us. As much as I enjoy the frosty delights of winter, it would really be nice to not have to cuddle up under a heavy blanket to avoid the seemingly everlasting cold outside(although a good book at hand does help ease the chill a bit):