Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones

2.5 Star

Laurie loves a challenge. Especially if it involves anything beautiful, baked and frosted. The brief is simple: With three other women, Laurie will board a London bus - kitted out as an English tea shop - on a deliciously different road trip of the USA. 

Their mission: To bring home-grown classics like Battenberg, Victoria sponge and scones to the land of cupcakes, whoopie pies and gold-leafed chocolate sundaes. 

And to show them how a real cup of tea is made. All of the women have their own secrets and heartaches to heal. As well as a grand appreciation of cupcakes, there's also the chance for romance...

But will making whoopee lead to love?

Kathryn - 2.5 Star

The Travelling Tea Shop is a bit of an enigma for me because I read it and enjoyed parts of it, but other aspects left me feeling a bit blah.  I initially didn’t relate to Laurie very much- from the first few pages I felt as if we’d been given an outline of a character, like a child’s colouring page with the colouring-in part missing. She gained some character later on but I still finished the novel feeling as if she wasn’t very real and that something was missing. Warmth? Personality?  Perhaps I’m just used to exuberance and massive amounts of information from my leading ladies these days and the slow approach of giving us snippets of her over the course of the novel left me a bit confused. It was impossible for me to relate to her lack of sympathy for her sister- they had had some difficult issues to overcome (which eventually....eventually...) became clear but I didn't agree at all with her treatment of her only sibling.

I kept reading because I became entranced with the historical nuggets about the different desserts and the towns they travelled to for Pamela’s cook book writing tour. And I also actually started to get a bit attached to Pamela’s mother Gracie.  A complete firecracker, she provided more knowledge about the family dynamics than any other person in the novel which gave the emotional tug I needed to keep reading and find out how they all sorted themselves out.

I haven’t read a novel by this author in some time and remember finding her books to be immediately engrossing. I just didn’t feel the same way about this one but when I reflect on The Travelling Tea Shop I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy it- it was just a bit of a slow starter for me.  I wouldn’t hesitate to read Belinda Jones again and this is a good novel to curl up with and learn about cakes, baking and a little bit of history.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Belinda Jones:
Website      Facebook      Twitter     Goodreads

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...