Book Review: The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe by Jenny Oliver

I have been a big fan of Jenny Oliver’s previous books – and so was excited that she was publishing more – and this time a whole series based on fictional Cherry Pie Island! I have always loved her characters and so have wanted to know what happens after the book finishes (unlike Gone Girl where I didn’t give a toss about any of them!) – and so thought a series would be excellent.

The Grand Reopening

The first one is entitled ‘The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe’ and this is what Amazon says about it:

“Home, Sweet Home….?
There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming…
When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!
One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?”

I REALLY enjoyed it. It’s a light, easy read – but funny, warm and you really care about the characters.  As with her other books there are excellent points of reference that really ring true (this time my favourite being a white Dolcis shoe box in a drawstring black Dolcis bag!!).  As with Jenny’s previous books, her descriptions of food are amazing – you can almost taste the cherry pie and its accompaniments!

Annie’s relationships with her family are complex – but you are always in Annie’s corner.

And as I expected – I do want to know what happens to Annie next!

I had read the blurb for book 2 before reading book 1 (book 2 should be winging its way to my Kindle today – yay!) and so could see the seeds being sown for the characters that feature in that.  I am also hoping we continue to keep in touch with the characters from book 1 – but I will report back on that later!

This is not high brow, prize winning fiction (but hey, we don’t want to read The Goldfinch every day – in fact, most normal people don’t want to read The Goldfinch ever!!) – but it’s fun, escapist reading – which sometimes is just what is called for.

I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series as they are published.

And I really fancy some cherry pie………

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