source: free review copy via Library Thing/ Harper Collins
title: Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop
author: Jenny Colgan / Twitter
genre: Christmas fiction / Romance
published: November 7th 2013
first line: Lipton was quiet underneath the stars.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish Delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She’s going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can’t wait. But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community, all of Rosie’s plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what’s best for the sweetshop also what’s best for Rosie?
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan is a nice read mainly centering on family life during the holidays in a small town. Rosie Hopkins left her life as a registered nurse in the big city to move to a little village in Lipton and open up a candy shop. She lives with her boyfriend Stephen, who is a Mr. Darcy type. His mother is Lady Lipton and she lives in the large estate of Lipton Hall. She is cold towards Rosie. Rosie wants Stephen to propose and she wants to start a family with him, this is a biggie for her. She wonders if staying in small town Derbyshire with no family is worth it if she doesn’t ever marry and have a family of her own.
One day the unthinkable happens and there is a major accident that involves Stephen, the families and the children in town. This accident affects Stephen alot to the point of his pushing Rosie away and isolating himself due to his PTSD. Much of the storyline is around this accident and the healing process for all involved.
Also in the mix are Rosie’s family, her mom and siblings and their kids are all coming to visit. While there they stir things up a bit and get Rosie wondering whether she really should go back home to Australia with them.
The author also adds Alzeimer’s to the storyline as one of the characters suffers from it. I found his storyline to be so endearing and there is a special plot twist that I did not see coming here.
While this is book two in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. However, I would have preferred to start with the first book myself to get a better feel of the characters. Stephen especially, since he has PTSD from being in the war. It is referred to that Rosie was his nurse in the first book, and that is how they met and fell in love. Also Rosie, what possessed her to leave her family and fly out to Derbyshire and open up a candy shop? This all happens in the first installment Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams
I enjoyed the coziness of the writing and the small town setting throughout the story.
“Back working at the sweetshop, she smiled at every child who came in, all of them bursting with secrets for her about what Santa was bringing them; all enraptured by the tiny train in the window; little cheeks rosy, eyes bright and round; parents tired but happy.”
p.259,Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan
I also liked that there are simple holiday recipes included at the end of the book and I definitely will be trying out the no-bake Snowballs which mainly consists of cocoa powder, shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and rum or brandy.
Overall, I enjoyed Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan but as I mentioned, I wish I had read the first book. I found this one dragged a little bit towards the end, but it all wraps up nicely while leaving it open for another installment. If you enjoy small town Christmas stories about family with some romance and nostalgia in the mix, I recommend this one.
About the author:
Jenny Colgan is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.-quoted from Amazon
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My copy of Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan arrived free via Library Thing. Some of these links are affiliate links.