After a long spate of YA novels these last few weeks, I was rather excited to get my hands on The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe, a general fiction novel I put on hold a couple of months before it was published, back in July.
Blueberry is a nice little book. It’s a predictable little love story, incorporating a little bit of family history and a charming coastal Maine setting. I enjoyed reading it, mostly, but did find myself struggling, at first, to acclimate to the novel’s protagonist, Ellen. Initially, she’s so stubborn and such a “city girl” as to be cold and mildly offensive, and though I believe author Mary Simses intends for us to feel this way so we can see the change in Ellen, I really struggled with the beginning of the book, and thought about quitting it. I stuck with it, though, because I really wanted to hear about that cafe that’s so beautifully pictured on the cover.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much mention of the cafe–it’s long gone by the time Ellen arrives in town. The town, though, is marvelously described, and, in my opinion, the strongpoint of the book. Simses has a gift for writing vivid settings without being overly (boringly!) descriptive, as some authors can be. She simply paints lovely pictures.
The story, itself, is fairly typical chick-lit: a love triangle formed by an engaged couple from the city and the new, perfect, rough-around-the-edges gentleman who sweeps the girl off her feet. After a few predictable plot developments, the two right people get together. It’s a little cheesy and a little trite, but it was still enjoyable. I give Simses major props for pulling it off without any swearing or smut. If this kind of book is your thing, it would be a great book-club choice.
Not amazing, but not bad. 3 solid stars.