I picked up The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan at Half Price Books. I chose it because I liked the title and the cover. Having spent the last several months reading nothing but detective books, I wanted something more lighthearted.
A broken heart, a job loss, limited funds and a search for a new beginning introduces us to Polly Waterford. She moves to a seaside resort which is only accessible at intervals during the day. Isolation from her friends and family, along with very little money finds her living in an old, rundown flat above an abandoned bakery. Her lifelong love of baking leads her to a job working in a bakery. Not a good bakery, but one run by an unhappy older woman who now brings in her baked goods.
Polly meets a variety of characters including a handsome and charming fisherman, a beekeeper and a wealthy tycoon. Life on the island is driven by the sea. Has the sea brought joy or heartache? What will it bring for Polly?
There are recipes throughout the book, and I was inspired to try and make bread. Polly makes it sound easy. However, after purchasing bread flour and making a loaf, kneading it by hand, I decided I’d have better luck if I used my Kitchenaid mixer with the kneading hook. My bread loaves would make excellent anchors for the fishing ships found on Polly’s new seaside home. So, if I want to make homemade bread, I will “knead” some personal, hands-on instruction by a real life baker.
This book was a fun read, but it also stirred my emotions. I laughed. I cried. I felt sad, and I felt hopeful. I went out and bought another Jenny Colgan book.