Sweetshop of Dreams is the first book featuring Rosie Hopkins. (Note that this was released in the UK as Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop Of Dreams.)
"Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian's sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong."
Rosie arrives in Lipton and makes her presence immediately known, through a series of mishaps. And we begin to meet the residents of the village of Lipton - in all their quirky glory.
The descriptions of the village, homes and shops made me want to move to Lipton.
Rosie is a wonderful lead character - warm, kind, funny and more - just the kind of person you'd love to have in your circle of friends. The supporting cast is just as well drawn and the listener can't help but be drawn to them. (Most of them - the dentist opposed to the sweetshop is especially unpleasant.)
Colgan's books have love at the heart of them. Love lost, love found, love for friends, family and partners. The yes, no, maybe so of the Rosie's search for happiness will have you wishing and hoping for a fairy tale outcome. I found Lillian's memories of the past (1940's) to be especially poignant, well written and yes, heartbreaking.
Each chapter opens with an excerpt from Lillian's book on candy. Various types are lauded and dissected in detail with a droll, dry wit. Recipes for some confections are included.
Beverley A. Crick was the narrator. I really enjoyed her interpretation. Her voice for Rosie captured the mental image I had in my head. She provided easily identifiable voices for the other characters. Lillian's had just the right quaver, young Edison the right innocence and male voices that felt right as well. She has an expressive voice and it reflected the emotion, humour, sadness etc. in Colgan's tale. Her voice is clear, easy to understand and pleasant to listen to. Listen to an excerpt of Sweetshop of Dreams.
Sweetshop of Dreams has everything you want in a great listen - love, loss, drama, humour and yes - a just right ending.
You can connect with Jenny Colgan on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.