24 July 2015
eBook Review: The Cherry Tree Cafe by Heidi Swain
Lizzie Dixon's life feels as though it's fallen apart. Instead of the marriage proposal she was hoping for from her boyfriend, she is unceremoniously dumped, and her job is about to go the same way. So, there's only one option: to go back home to the village she grew up in and to try to start again.
Her best friend Jemma is delighted Lizzie has come back home. She has just bought a little cafe and needs help in getting it ready for the grand opening. And Lizzie's sewing skills are just what she needs.
With a new venture and a new home, things are looking much brighter for Lizzie. But can she get over her broken heart, and will an old flame reignite a love from long ago...?"
You can buy The Cherry Tree Café as an eBook now.
I was browsing Netgalley one evening looking to see if there was anything new on there that would catch my eye, and I came across this brand new eBook only story from Simon and Schuster. I didn't realise they published eBook stories, so was definitely interested. I then went onto Twitter and found a few other bloggers chatting about the book, saying they had enjoyed it a lot. I decided to give it a go, and I am really pleased that I did because Heidi Swain's debut novel was a fun story to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it!
Lizzie feels like life is just going wrong. She's moved away from home to live with her boyfriend, someone she definitely thinks is a catch. However, he's decided to dump her and go back to his old girlfriend and make their relationship work, and now Lizzie feels she just wants to upsticks and go back home. Her best friend Jemma is more than happy to let her stay in the small flat above her new café, but Lizzie feels like going home is like taking a big step backwards. She decides she doesn't have a choice, and returns, deciding to help out her friends while she's there. Lizzie starts running a sewing club from a small corner of the café but doesn't expect it to take off quite as much as it does...
I found the character of Lizzie to be one that I warmed to straight away. She was treated so badly by her ex-boyfriend, allowing him to change everything that fundamentally made her Lizzie, that she almost didn't recognise herself anymore. I was pleased when she made the decision to go home, and hoped it meant we would see some more of the real Lizzie. Her friendship with Jemma was lovely to read about, the pair clearly had a lot of love for each other, but Lizzie did seem quite fickle at times, seeming to think the worst of her friend rather than looking for a rational explanation, or even a reason as to why Jemma would act in a certain way. Lizzie's passion for her sewing and craft was great, she was very skilled, and Swain describes her projects so well, it was almost enough to make me want to take up the hobby!
In terms of romance, there's the possibility of it bubbling below the surface of the book, and I didn't know who Lizzie was going to end up with, if anybody of course! There was Ben, an old schoolfriend who was also staying with Jemma and her husband, helping them out to get the cafe ready for it's grand opening. Lizzie is keen to keep her past feelings towards him a secret, but when she finds out he is hiding something himself, she's determined to find out what it is. I liked the twists and turns of the story between this pair, and was surprised by a revelation towards the end of the book, I hadn't seen it coming at all!
Of course, the Cherry Tree Café plays a big part in the book, and it sounds like such an idyllic place to go and spend a few hours in the morning with your friends! It's cosy, comforting and the people who work there are described wonderfully too, you can imagine everything so clearly in your mind. The addition of Lizzie's sewing group was fantastic, I enjoyed reading about their projects, and how the café and sewing group thrived in the small town. I was pleased Lizzie decided to take a chance on the sewing group, and indeed moving back home, showing that sometimes you just need familiar people and surroundings around you to make everything right again. Swain's debut novel is a heart-warming, romantic tale, and I enjoyed the entire thing. Her writing was brilliant, bringing to life the cosy café and Lizzie and her friends too. This was a really good story to enjoy over a few evenings, and I'm definitely looking forward to more from Heidi Swain.