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Not All Tarts Are Apple
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Not All Tarts Are Apple

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  246 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
In 1953, the dark alleyways of Soho, London, teem with crooks, fortunetellers, cardsharks, and ladies of the night. But even the toughest racketeer has a soft spot for Rosie, the adopted daughter of the whole neighborhood and resident ray of sunshine in the local café. A doorstop orphan, her world is filled with a menagerie of neighbors come to nosh and gossip. But as her
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 26th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 2002)
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Nesa Sivagnanam
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rosie is living a very happy life in Soho during the summer of 1953. She adores her Auntie Maggie and Uncle Bert (whom she knows are not really her parents); has lots of good friends who come to their restaurant and really does not mind going to school. In her neighborhood, there are folk from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds and they all pitch in to help one another.

One day at recess Kathy Moon tells Rosie that Maggie and Bert are not really her parents and adds insult to injury by saying that "
Mar 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
Seeing the world through little girl Rosie's eyes is hilarious! And so is the British English! Rosie is telling her history in this book, as a grown woman, but she tells it how she remembers it, how she saw it all happen: from a girl's not-so oblivious and innocent, but very inexperienced and curious perspective.

Very cute story about the very abnormal, but absolutely loving "family" that Rosie grows up with. Interesting perspective, and interesting characters. Funny how, depending on the story,
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anglophiles and mystery fans
Liked this new-ish series very much. Reminded me of my favorite Jane Duncan "My Friends" series, but set in Cockney London just after WWII.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
An entertaining and amusing book about a young girl in London and her complicated family situation. A very quick read as well.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Child narrator growing up in seedy 1950s Soho. Lovable working class Londoners, untrustworthy, devious upper classes (apart from fairy godmother great aunt). Too sentimental.
This is a gentle, mostly humorous view of life in the lowest classes in post-WWII Britain through the eyes of Rosa, a young girl adopted by a loving cafe owner and his wife after her mother, a flighty woman who may or may not be a "tart," leaves her with them. Much of the intricacies of the adult lives around her go over her head--what family friend Paulette does for a living, for example, that allows her to get paid for "a quick knee-trembler" at the movies, or exactly what the kindly Maltese J ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's the early 1950's and seven year-old Rosie lives in Soho with Aunt Maggie and Uncle Bert, who are her parents even though she's dimly aware that they really aren't. Rosie knows that her mother left her behind in their cafe when she was a newborn, and Maggie and Bert kept her for their own. Their family is rounded out by the crooked lawyer, the medium and the hooker who all live next door.

Written as a memoir, this book goes on aimlessly until about fifty pages from the end when suddenly there
Kathy Davie
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is the second in the Soho series (chronologically) and picks up seven years after Trouble in Paradise with the focus centered on Rosa, the baby Zelda foresaw as coming into Bert and Maggie's life.

While Tarts doesn't have that intense pull that Paradise did, I still couldn't put it down for all the drama that rose up around our Rosa. Charlie Fluck is back and he's the main source of the threats against her as well as one of the methods by which we learn of Cassandra's background. I can see t
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I must confess I bought this book mostly because of the cover. I thought it was adorable and well it is a Penguin book. I have an affinity for Penguin books for some unknown reason.

A cute story set in a Soho neighborhood in London in the 1950's it's centered around an adopted girl named Rosie. Her mom of which the colorful title gets its name drops off Rosie as a baby with her friends and they become her Uncle Bert and Aunt Maggie and her guardians. They own the cafe on the block that is host to
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listed as a mystery I only found one mystery – Who was 7 year old Rosie’s father? I think I figured it out, but…

Anyway the title of this booked intrigued me and figured a good fall / Halloween mystery was ripe for the season. Bobbing for apples anyone?

This was a cute quick read that takes in Great Britain in 1953. Neighbors of Uncle Bert and Aunt Maggie’s tavern enjoy fun times centered on erratic Cassandra and her daughter Rosie. Rosie is always eavesdropping on the adult’s conversations. Fill
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
In 1953, London's alleyways are full of all sorts of shady characters. But seven-year old Rosie has a spot in everyone's heart. She lives with her Uncle Bert and Aunt Maggie, and one day she learns that "The Perfumed Lady" is really Rosie's mother. And there is a plot afoot that Rosie is the target of. She rallies the whole neighborhood to her aid. This was a whimsical book. It had a really British writing style, with a lot of British terms and a sort of British feel to it, which I enjoyed. Also ...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pleasant-reads

This is one of those nice easy reads about salt of the earth people in London's Soho area. Set just after WWII and told by a six year old, Rosa called Rosie, it is a view of her life at the Cafe.

It's well written in that Rosie tells the reader everything but quite clearly only understands part of what she knows. The plot is thickened by the query over who Rosie's mother really is.

Historical detail is a nice touch. People who remember the Coronation, the first TVs, the end of rationing will enjoy
Kate MacKinnon
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
2.5 Stars

This was ok. Not great, not bad, just ok.
The story was rather flat with no real depth.
While I became attached to the characters, the story was not especially engaging.

The story was told from the perspective of a child, which can work well, but in this case it just got a bit tiring.

There was such a variety in the characters personalities & backgrounds, this probably would have been a great story to tell from multiple perspectives.

Anyway, it was the title and author's name that initia
Keilani Ludlow
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book. Sure, it wasn't four star status, which is about the highest I ever give, but it was definitely an amusing read. I think a max of 2 f-bombs and no other real swearing, which is a surprise considering that the Brits take their swear words even easier than half the US does. Also, some shall I say, interesting, characters. A hooker, an underworld mobster's relative, etc. A little lower grade of people but enjoyable and likeable none the less. Told from the perspective of ...more
Michele Bolay
This is a word-of-mouth book that is hard to describe but easy to love. The characters are unique and unforgettable (especially young Rosie) and the writing is quirky, sassy, funny, and affectionate. I wasn’t in London in the 1950s, yet this feels like such a true slice-of-life from that period and that location. You fall into Granger’s world and won’t ever want to escape. Just like a good apple this delicious treat is satisfying and easy on the palate but will linger long after you are finished ...more
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Beloved little Rosie is a child truly raised by a "village"--the tightknit community of London's seedy SoHo in the post WWII years. Her mother is a drunk and a prostitute, but with a mysteriously posh past, and Rosie is the foster child of cafe owners Uncle Bert and Aunt Maggie.
Lively characters make this book a wonderful treat, seen through the innocent, yet sharp, eyes of Rosie. Haven't read such a great book in a long time.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
The word cozy was made for stories like this - a warm nostalgic glance back at a small slice of Soho in the summer of Elizabeth II's coronation. There is a cast of lovable working class (and working girl) eccentrics, the villains are easily thwarted and a good cuppa will cure almost anything. It's guilt free pleasure.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and the others in the series! Reminded me of the stories my Nan used to tell me from her childhood. (Some if it...not the prostitue mother etc) a warm story of community, good people and lots of love.
Sep 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books for whenever I need a laugh. The young narrator's interpretation of the very Bohemian life of 1950s makes for a marvelous view of a Soho filled with tarts (not all apple), petty criminals, working blokes, and a charming Italian family.
Jan 19, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Had to give up. Not my cup of tea.
Vicki B
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: thanks-ruthie
A very cute read! Loved the English colloquialisms...too bad I didn't know about the glossary at the back until the end.
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Really cute, very British book. A nice light read.
Benjamin Revier
London in the 50's... A precocious young girl discovering a family secret.

Not exactly the mystery I was expecting, but still an enjoyable light read.
Jul 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming tale and wonderful introduction to the work of Pip Granger. Liked it much more than The Widow Ginger. Have yet to read her newer novels.
Stephanie Schuster
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cute cute cute. Love the picture of the London underground as a cozy place to raise a kid. Home is where the heart is.
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Should have been a lot more entertaining and enjoyable than it was. Wanted to connect with the characters but never did. They just seemed more like caricatures than real people.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
excellent read!!
James Hays
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun. All in first person from a child's point of view, but with adult things happening around them.
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, funny
Just delightful. A sweet-tart story set in a lower-crust neighborhood in 1950s England.
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Pip Granger was born in Cuckfield, Sussex, in 1947. Her first job was with the City of Westminster, teaching children who had been excluded from school because of emotional and health problems, and she worked as a literacy and special needs teacher in Stoke Newington and Hackney in the 1970s and 1980s. After quitting teaching, she wrote for a while on non-fiction partworks, including My Garden and ...more
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