Author: Trisha Ashley | Publisher: Black Swan
Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.
So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.
Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?
[BOOK BINGO BOOK 2]
I’m a big fan of Trisha Ashley. Her books have a sort of magical quality which is hard to find in contemporary romance, her characters are relatable and have real depth, and her plots have both the comforting predictability of a cozy romance and just enough uniqueness to make them memorable and interesting. So, I picked up The Little Teashop of Lost and Found with expectations of a good evening. I wasn’t disappointed.
Admittedly, the beginning of The Little Teashop didn’t exactly grab me. For the first few chapters, we’re taken on a whistlestop tour of every unfortunate event in the main character’s life: she was adopted, her adoptive mother never wanted her, several failed romances… It was a little unnecessary, and, I’m afraid, far from garnering my sympathy, in fact I found it all too self-pitying. The reader isn’t so much catapulted into the story, as dragged in via a somewhat muddy and boring ditch. However, I persevered out of a sense of loyalty to the author. And, once you get past the initial slog, the story picks up and you do begin to appreciate the time which was taken in building the characters.
The Little Teashop is longer than your usual chick lit / cozy romance, and the story has really been expanded upon. There’s a full cast of sub-characters with their own sub-plots, a little mystery, nice twist at the end, and a gradually dawning romance which felt all the more satisfying for the wait. The textural details have all the usual Trisha Ashley hallmark of immersive worldbuilding.
I loved the cutaways to the diary entries at the beginning of each chapter (another classic Trisha Ashley technique), but could have done without the excerpts from the main character’s own book. A book within a book, one of which bore little relation to the other, was just a little distracting; and I quickly grew bored of the fairytale motif, because it just wasn’t embedded elsewhere – it felt like an afterthought. I also liked the references to the Brontes, and the way that the book was based in the real Haworth. If it was a touch overdone, isn’t it always in these types of books? I’ll admit, I quite like the cheesy-ness…
Overall, while I can’t say The Little Teashop of Lost and Found lived up to Trisha Ashley’s other books, I did enjoy it. It was heartwarming, sweet, and beautifully written. I have no hesitation in recommending it for fans of the chick lit / cozy romance genre.
I’m going to use The Little Teashop as my “something sweet” (10 points), “book with a white cover” (10 points), “female author” (10 points), and “from my TBR” (10 points) – 40 points. Killing it at my December Book Bingo!
Has anyone read anything for their December Book Bingo yet??