Title: The Cherry Tree Cafe
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Ebook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 16th July 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Cupcakes, crafting and love at The Cherry Tree Cafe...
Lizzie Dixon's life feels as though it's fallen apart. Instead of the marriage proposal she was hoping for from her boyfriend, she is unceremoniously dumped, and her job is about to go the same way. So, there's only one option: to go back home to the village she grew up in and to try to start again.
Her best friend Jemma is delighted Lizzie has come back home. She has just bought a little cafe and needs help in getting it ready for the grand opening. And Lizzie's sewing skills are just what she needs.
With a new venture and a new home, things are looking much brighter for Lizzie. But can she get over her broken heart, and will an old flame reignite a love from long ago...?
For everyone who loves settling down to watch Great British Bake-Off, the Great British Sewing Bee, or curling up to read Milly Johnson or Jenny Colgan, The Cherry Tree Cafe is a coffee-break treat.
And the reality didn't let me down at all, Heidi Swain has managed to right a warm and cosy story, featuring Lizzie Dixon. Lizzie was hoping for a proposal from her boyfriend of 2 years, Giles. Instead she gets a massive shock from him, which leaves her moving back to her home village, to try and make sense of things.
Jemma is her best friend, and has just bought the slightly run down Cherry Tree Cafe. Jemma is a fantastic baker but is struggling to get the new cafe ready to open. So up steps Lizzie to help out, especially with her superb sewing and crafting skills.
Jemma has a daughter, Ella, who at only 6 years old is wise beyond her years. The sorts of comments she comes out with you would expect from a much older child. It felt like in many ways she was 6 going on 12, but yet she does have child like qualities to her too, and I absolutely loved her. Any scene with her in, you knew was not going to be dull.
Not that any of the book was dull, it was very engaging and entertaining, but yet it wasn't all smooth sailing for any of the characters. I loved seeing how Lizzie's relationship with her parents evolved, especially with her mother. I recognise a lot of my mum within Lizzie's mum originally, so maybe there is hope yet!
There is something about the idea of a cafe that is used both for food and drink, but also a crafting section that just really appeals to me, although not being able to bake or craft myself, I don't exactly know why. I just find the descriptions of crafting very calming, and I would love to be creative enough to make any of the things that Lizzie can do.
During the first part of the book, I had a horrible feeling that the story was going to be predictable, but as it continued, I realised how wrong I was. There were small twists and turns, and just enough revelations, mainly involving the men in Lizzie's life, to keep you hooked.
The Cherry Tree Cafe is a fantastic debut novel, from an author who I'm sure is going to have a great career as a writer. I am definitely looking forward to future releases already, in fact I would love a Christmas follow up to the cafe!
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster, for this review copy. This was my honest review.
The Cherry Tree Cafe is out in ebook today. Happy Publication day Heidi!