Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe by Mary Simses

Another book that kept staring at me from the bookcases at work while it was still in hardcover.  I finally gave in and bought it in paperback.  And while I did enjoy the novel, I do have a few issues with it.  

First of all, I must admit that I love blueberries.  I mean seriously love blueberries.  As in eating a bowlful of frozen blueberries on a regular basis  and keeping large bags of them in the freezer kind of love.  

So that may have swayed me when I saw the cover of this book.  But as I finished the book, I have to say the title and the cover really aren't much of a match for the story inside.  Yes, blueberries are mentioned throughout the story, but in a way that becomes annoying. Ellen mentions, quite frequently, how her grandmother made the best blueberry muffins EVER.  And how the town of Beacon needs better blueberry muffins than what the cafe offers.  Ok.  Got it.  

 Ellen travels to Beacon, Maine to deliver a letter from her late grandmother to a man she knew many years before.  Ellen is a lawyer in New York City, engaged to an up and coming politician, and happy as a clam.  Until she almost drowns and is rescued by Roy, a local contractor.  Ellen is so happy to be rescued and so caught up in the moment (and her instant attraction to Roy) that she plants a big one on him and it's caught on camera and put in the local newspaper.  She's then known around town as "The Swimmer".  What started out as a quick trip to Maine quickly becomes extended as Ellen begins to realize her grandmother had a past that was very different from what Ellen knew, and she must figure it all out before she can leave Maine.  And then there's Roy.  He just keeps popping up, and her attraction to him is causing her some inner turmoil.  

All in all, the story was entertaining.  It was what I expected, except for that darn cover.  I thought it would be more food related.  In this aspect, the cover is deceptive.  Yes, blueberries are mentioned, and so is the cafe. But they are not the main focus of this novel! The epilogue is really the only part of the book that ties completely into the cover.  I am one of those people who likes the cover to match the overall inner thread of a story, and I feel like that this one just didn't do that.  It is a story about forgiveness, making choices, and finding love in unexpected places.  It's about the fact that we never do know our parents and grandparents that well, and we certainly have no idea who they were and what their hopes and dreams were when they were very young.  Did they love someone else?  Did they have plans that suddenly changed?  Are there people and places they never talk about?  

Fans of contemporary female fiction will enjoy this novel.  There are no great surprises and no terrible secrets.  A good vacation read.  Just be sure there are blueberries within reach.

Rating:  6/10 for a well drawn town with quirky characters and a heroine who finds the courage to jump.  

Available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook.


  1. Dang! I Have been eyeballing this cover for months and months-- but not what I expected. I just love blueberries and blueberry muffins (and blueberry honey, which doesn't taste like blueberries but the bees interact with them & make a yummy honey).

    I used to live in Maine, and guess what, all those wonderful wild blueberries you see growing all around there? They are shipped off to restaurants and factories & the like around the country, and the supermarkets in town sold blueberries from NJ!! Of course you could get some from the farmer's markets for a limited time, usually in August.

    Thanks for sharing this, and sorry if I rambled on :)

    1. Hi Rita-- It is a fun summer read, so don't let my review put you off. And the frozen blueberries I get are usually from Michigan. I've always wanted to visit Maine--maybe someday :)

  2. Good morning Sue........I would have purchased this book just for the cover alone! LOLLOL I do do just this thing occasionally and am seldom disappointed.