Chicklit Club



The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop (2015)


Sisters Anna and Imogen are both settled with their partners in Brighton. But when Anna's partner, Matteo, starts to feel homesick for Italy, the couple decide to try out a new life in Sorrento with their young daughter Bella. But going to Italy means being closer to Matteo's family, and his interfering mother, Elisa. Back in England, Imogen's career has taken a setback and whilst everyone else seems to have everything on track, she's not sure what she's going to do with her life. She's beginning to feel restless so it's not the ideal time to be bumping into an ex. It's great once again to catch up with the characters from Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop. Unfortunately, however, this sequel lacked depth and whilst there were some interesting plotlines, the narrative zips along at a rate of knots and the stories are never fully fleshed out. Consequently, it all feels a bit cliched and predictable. It was a shame too that the subplot about Evie wasn't developed further, because this offered a nice opportunity for something different and special. A light and breezy summer read that doesn't take much effort. (JC)

Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream  

Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream (2013)


English teacher Amelia and graphic designer Jack live in the smallest, most cramped flat in London. When Abby realises she's nearly thirty and hasn't done half of what she wanted to do before that age, she decides she wants to tick something off her bucket list and live in the countryside. With Jack's approval, she starts hunting for the perfect country cottage. On the journey from buying a house to completely redecorating it, Amelia faces a few challenges along the way. However, armed with a paintbrush, a sewing machine and a mood-board, Amelia is determined to make her dream a reality. It probably took me less than three hours in total to finish this delight - I couldn't bear to put it down! From the very first page I was in love with Amelia and was so excited to follow her on her dream of re-decorating a house and living in the countryside. She was a great character who I felt for the whole way through, even when at times she seemed to doubt herself. I really enjoyed the character of Jack too; he was the sweetest husband and was 100 per cent behind Amelia (most of the time!!) The supporting characters, such as Amelia's friends and parents, were also really fun to meet. My perception of Amelia's mother changed a lot over the course of the book and it was really interesting to see the development of both Amelia's parents. Perhaps the part of this book I loved the most was the message it gave. Living in the moment and enjoying everything for what it is worth is SO important. Amelia was set in her ways at the beginning of this novel but over the course she learns not to worry too much about the future (with Jack's help). As always, Abby's writing flows effortlessly, making for an easy and enjoyable read. (LL)

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop  

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop (2013)


When Anna and Imogen's wonderful Grandma Vivien dies, they are distraught but take comfort in the dilapidated ice cream parlour that Vivien has left to them. The two sisters both lead busy lives and want to carry on doing what they love but they have to decide whether that is as important as keeping their grandmother's memory alive. They start renovating the ice cream shop and very quickly start to discover new things about themselves. The characters are loveable and the writing is good. This is a glorious summer read that will have you wishing you were by the English seaside with a big tub of ice cream! (LL)

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop - Second Opinion
Meet Me Under The Mistletoe  

Meet Me Under The Mistletoe (2012)


This is a real feel-good story set in the lead-up to Christmas. Laurie and Rachel were best friends growing up but have lost touch over the years. Circumstances quickly push them to get in contact and a house swap takes place - bringing them back into each other's lives. Both have changes they need to make in their lives that they didn't notice until the swap. This book has it all: great characters, moving storylines with twists, romance and comedy, and it's really well written - I was gripped from the start and couldn't put it down. This is Abby Clements' first book (which I stumbled across by accident - and I'm really glad I did!!!) and it's fantastic. I hope to read more from her in the near future. (AT)

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