Leah's Reviews > Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams

Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan
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's review
Feb 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: for-review, books-read-2013
Read from September 26 to 27, 2013

Despite the fact Jenny Colgan has been around the Chick Lit scene for ages I’ve always found her novels to be a bit hit and miss. I’ve read three of her novels and none of them have really set me on fire in any way. But recently her novels have become more shop-focused (Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe; The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris; Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams) and her writing style seems to have changed. I’ve got all three of the aforementioned books on my shelf and with a Christmas Rosie Hopkins novel right around the corner, I decided to start with Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What really drew me to Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams was, of course, the sweet shop element. I remember before I moved to Tenerife we had a supermarket around the corner from our house and it sold all kinds of old-fashioned sweets. Cola cubes, rhubarb and custards sweets, all kinds of sweets you can’t really find any more, and which I thought was only available at the supermarket where I used to live (oops). My absolute favourite though was this chocolate dust stuff. I can’t actually remember what it is, but I LOVED it and it was always what I got whenever I had sweetie money, along with 20p mixes. (Oh how I miss penny sweets…) The nostalgia in this book reminscining about all the old fabulous sweets that are really hard to find really made this book for me. I actually think there’s an old-fashioned sweet shop here in Tenerife and all I wanted to do was get on the bus and buy loads of sweets.

So, anyway, not that I’ve reminisced about all my favourite sweets and given you a paragraph you probably aren’t interested in, let’s talk about the book! I really loved the book. I loved reading how Rosie gave up her London life for life in Lipton. I loved reading how she restored Hopkins’ Sweetshop to its days past, to its former glory. But I also enjoyed Lipton village life. Books set in villages are the best, ever, because village life is sooooooo interesting. It’s like a mini soap opera. And Rosie moving to Lipton certainly causes chaos, and I loved how she shook the village up. It did take me a little while to get into the book, but after 75 pages or so, after Rosie shook off the awful Gerard (how a grown man can whine and whinge so much and how Rosie accepted it just made me cringe and the sooner he was out of the picture, the better as far as I was concerned) the book became so much better and so much more interesting and after that I could barely put it down because it was ever so fascinating and I really enjoyed it.

The novel doesn’t just focus on Rosie’s life in Lipton, though. We also learn more about Lilian, Rosie’s great-aunt and how it came to be that she spent her whole life in Lipton, running the sweetshop. Her tale was sad, but I was so glad it was included because it was absolutely fascinating. I really loved the novel; as soon as I got into it, I couldn’t put it down and it had some really interesting characters. I found Stephen to be so fascinating, and I liked how Rosie had the patience to go up to his house almost every week to tend to his leg. He rather stole my heart, did Stephen. The whole book did, in fact. Colgan is a wonderful writer, and it really had me nostalgic for all those old sweeties I used to eat. Especially that chocolate stuff. God, if I could source some of that chocolate stuff I’d be in heaven. This was such a wonderful, sweet book, and I’m so pleased there’s going to be a sequel, set at Christmastime. I felt we didn’t get quite enough of Rosie, or Lilian, or Tina, or Stephen and I haven’t yet had my fill of them! Roll on October!

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Reading Progress

09/26/2013 marked as: currently-reading
09/27/2013 marked as: read

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