Imagine my surprise when I arrived home from work recently to find this book waiting for me at home! I love reviewing books and have been very thankful to be able to read and review this one - for a start, look how cute the cover is! Doesn't it just make you want to get a giant ice cream and sit reading on the beach at Brighton or somewhere?
Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop is the second novel by Abby Clements and you can read my review of her first book, Meet Me Under The Mistletoe, here. I loved her first novel and already thought Abby Clements was a talented writer so as soon as I realized this book was her second novel, I knew I'd enjoy it.
This story is all about two sisters trying to run their late grandma's ice cream shop together, despite the fact that it's looking a little run down and the sisters are the complete opposite of each other. Anna is settled in her life having just moved in with her long term boyfriend whereas Imogen is constantly jetting off around the world to travel. But when they unexpectedly inherit the ice cream parlour they struggle to keep their grandmothers legacy afloat, even though running an ice cream shop was the last thing either of them expected to be doing that summer.
The blurb reads -
When Imogen and Anna unexpectedly inherit their grandmother Vivien's ice cream parlour, it turns their lives upside down. The Brighton shop is a seafront instuition, but though it's big on retro charm it's critically low on customers. If the sisters don't turn things around quickly, their grandmother's legacy will dissapear forever.
With summer fast approaching, Imogen and Anna devise a plan. Rather than sell up, they will train up, and make the parlour the newest destination on the South Coast foodie map.
While Imogen watches the shop and conjures new marketing ideas, her sister flies to Italy to attend a gourmet ice cream-making course. But can their best-laid plans survive their warring family, tempestuous love lives - and the great British weather? One thing is for certain - this summer will be like no other...
I loved this book because it was the perfect summer holiday read. It just reminded me of days spent on the beach when I was younger and used to go on caravan holidays down south with my parents, eating giant ice creams and lazing out under the sun. Do people still go on those types of holidays anymore? It's all about going abroad these days, isn't it..anyway, this book definitely reminded me of those times and put a big smile on my face and I'm sure it'll have the same effect on you. The whole book is about re-creating the vintage charm memories have, bringing old memories up to date and helping keep them alive.
My favourite part of this book was that it had two main characters - sisters Imogen and Anna. Both were lovely characters but complete opposites of each other so that if you couldn't relate to one, you'd almost certainly relate to the other. I loved that their different personalities clashed in a number of different ways - at points they found it hard to run the shop together because of it, but at other times they balanced each other out which was great. I also liked how almost half way through the story they pretty much swapped lives - Anna jetted off to Italy for an adventure whilst Imogen was stuck at home running the shop.
It was also interesting to read as it dealt with some of the inevitable issues you have to deal with when you 'grow up'. The sisters worried as their dad fell into depression once his mum had passed away, and then there were arguments within the family about who should get the shop. It's a sad thing to know that these type of issues will one day crop up, but I thought it kept the book realistic and grounded.
Despite these side storylines, the story was very much lighthearted otherwise. It was funny, inspiring and even had a bit of romance in it. It was just the perfect book to read on a lazy day and it was easy to come back to time and time again.
It taught me that sometimes life will throw you challenges which will literally turn your life upside down - but this isn't always a bad thing. It changed the sisters' lives in a good way and was a blessing in disguise - I think it was a challenge they definitely needed to overcome without even realizing it themselves.
I also loved the recipes at the back of the book! I've definitely been inspired to have a go at making my own ice cream now...
You can purchase Abby Clements Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop on Amazon now.
*Please note, this post contains a PR sample.