SOS Aloha's Reviews > Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe: A Novel with Recipes

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
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it was amazing

Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me. – Audrey Hepburn

Issy Randall grew up in her grandfather’s bakery in Manchester, England. She learned how to knead bread, whip meringue, and frost cakes. Issy also watched her grandfather take care of his community, in good times and bad. In turn, the community turned Grandpa’s bakery into a success. The roles reverse when Issy is now working in London and Grandpa is relocated to a nearby care facility as his dementia chips away at his life. Issy asks him to write down his recipes as she explores her baking passion at home. She shares her treats with other commuters on the bus and coworkers at office … until the fateful day that she is made redundant with the economic turndown. The icing on the cake is her boss (and boyfriend) didn’t even give her a hint of what was to come.

Issy uses her severance package to launch a dream – her own bake shop – in a corner of her eclectic London suburb. She names it the Cupcake Café after her signature delicacy – cupcakes. Issy invites Pearl, another unemployed Londoner she met in “retraining” classes, to join the dream. Issy and Pearl come from different worlds yet food unites them as they navigate through family struggles.

MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFÉ focuses on Issy’s relationships – with her dying grandpa, her absent mother, her loyal roommate, her destructive boyfriend, the supportive banker, and her appreciative customers – as she redefines her life through her business endeavor.

I read the four hundred pages in two nights – I laughed, I cried, and I cheered as Issy came to know her strengths, weaknesses, and determination to be part of a community, just like her grandpa. Author Jenny Colgan demonstrates the same skill as Issy in layering ingredients – hope, humor, heartache, loneliness, and love – into a tasty read. Thank you, Jenny Colgan, for enveloping me into Issy’s world!

Recommended read for those who enjoy a light hearted look at women’s relationships. Must read for Anglophiles as the London setting and English perspective is decadent as a double chocolate cupcake – a specialty from Issy.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 3, 2013 – Shelved

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