This is a romantic story, in the old-fashioned sense of it being nostalgic and dreamy and sigh-inducing. It blends a historical-coming-of-age story with a contemporary “finding oneself” plot. Rosie leaves London to help her aging great-aunt in the countryside. While she’s there she makes connections that fulfill an emptiness she didn’t even know she had. There’s a happily-ever-after, but it’s a tad bittersweet, kind of ironic for a sweetshop owner. 🙂
I loved Rosie’s story: her capers as a medical nurse, her hilarious clumsy attempts at traveling in the country, and her funny attempts at making friends.
I really didn’t like the flashbacks to Aunt Lilian’s youth. I’d be all into Rosie’s story and then BOOM Lilian’s story would interrupt it. You might like the alternating flashback format, but it seemed disjointed to me.
I really DID like the candy recipes and the editorial comments at the beginning of each chapter. I felt like the author was talking to just me, drawing me into the book!
My absolute favorite favorite parts of Sweetshop of Dreams were: when Rosie (with Edison by her side) tells off the dentist and Edison’s mom; and when Rosie goes careening off her bike head over heels. Yes, head over heels.
Sweetshop of Dreams turned into a contemporary romance after all. “Love is caramel… Always welcome… Easy melting of two souls into one… A taste that lingers even when everything else has melted away.” Lilian may have missed her chance at true love, but Rosie certainly “got lucky” when she moved to Lipton.