2016 Book Reviews Cressida McLaughlin HarperCollins
Book Review: The Canal Boat Café by Cressida McLaughlin
I loved Cressida McLaughlin's debut, A Christmas Tail, last year. So imagine my surprise when I won a paperback copy of her second one! As soon as it arrived (accompanied with some delicious chocolate and a beautiful bookmark), I couldn't resist diving it. Here are my thought on this lovely story:
Title: The Canal Boat Café
Author: Cressida McLaughlin
Published: July 28th 2016 by Harper
Blurb: Summer Freeman returns to the waterside village of Willowbeck to rescue the Canal Boat Café, her late mother’s picturesque narrowboat, which has run into choppy waters. A family friend, Valerie, has been trying to keep things afloat, but the coffee machine is jammed, the cake offerings are paltry, and not all of the locals want to see the café succeed.
Help comes from the boat next door, in the shape of handsome wildlife photographer, Mason and his naughty Border Terrier, who are showing more than a passing interest in Summer and her adorable Bichon Frise, Latte. But is Mason being honest about himself? Or does he have something to hide?
As her life and the community of Willowbeck begin to entwine, Summer finds herself setting sail on a new adventure. Will the anchor of a steady life on land be too strong, or can Summer learn to cut loose and embrace life afloat?
Review: Cressida McLaughlin is back with a lovely feel good story. Just as her debut, The Canal Boat Café was first released as a 4-part serialised enovel, so the whole paperback is divided in 4 parts with a little cliff-hanger at the end of each. This makes for an easy and quick read that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next. It has quite a few surprises and it definitely made me chuckle more than once. What else can you ask for?
I loved the setting for this story: a canal boat. I've always been fascinated by these boats and every time I've seen one you can visit (on a tour or because it's a café or a shop) I haven't been able to resist having a look inside. So reading about The Canal Boat Café was a real treat. Especially seeing it flourishing as Summer started taking it more seriously.
Another aspect I really enjoyed in this novel were the dogs. Both summer and her new canal neighbour, had the cutest and most mischievous dogs ever. They added the perfect fun spark to the story, which turned out to be a bit more serious than I first expected; Summer had some ghosts from the past to get over to before really enjoying her life again. I think this gave the story a new dimension and made me care even more for these characters as they were far from perfect.
All in all, I found this story deliciously good. The canal community was lively and generous with each other and they all had their own subplots that complemented perfectly the main story. I found it interesting and exciting and it had the perfect dash of romance. I cannot wait to see what Cressida McLaughlin comes up with next.
Rating: 5 stars