25 May 2013

Book Review: Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements

"When Imogen and Anna unexpectedly inherit their grandmother Vivien's ice cream parlour, it turns both their lives upside-down. The Brighton shop is a seafront institution, but while it's big on charm it's critically low on customers. If the sisters don't turn things around quickly, their grandmother's legacy will disappear forever.

With summer looming, Imogen and Anna devise a plan to return Vivien's to its former glory. 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, her sister flies to Italy to attend a gourmet ice cream-making course. But as she works shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best chefs in the industry, Anna finds that romance can bloom in the most unexpected of places..."

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop as a paperback or an eBook now.

I absolutely loved Abby Clements' debut novel Meet Me Under the Mistletoe which was released last year, and was a beautifully written festive treat which made me very excited to read more from her. Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait a whole year until she released a new book, as this brilliant book was released just a few days ago, just in time for the summer I hope we are going to be having soon! I loved the cover straight away, it's a gorgeous summerly looking one with pale pinks and teals, it really is beautiful and somehow perfectly fits the book. Anyway, here is why you must read Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop.

Clements bases the book around two sisters, Anna and Imogen, who couldn't be more different as people. Anna is happily settled with her boyfriend and his son, moving into a new flat is a huge step for her, and she's just got a good promotion at work too. Imogen has been living in Thailand for a few years, working on her photography and she loves travelling, and living by the sea. However, when their beloved grandmother Vivien dies and leaves the women her ice-cream shop, they decide maybe it's time to do what Vivien wanted and restore the ice-cream shop to its former glory once more. They soon find out though that running an ice-cream shop isn't as easy as they thought it would be and that it just might change their lives for the better as well!

I really liked both of the lead characters in this book so much, and I think that really enhanced my enjoyment of the book overall. While they are both very different, the girls both hold family very important to their hearts, and I liked how close they were to their grandmother, especially Anna who lived quite nearby. Vivien only appears briefly at the start of the book, but is important throughout, and I liked how frequently she was spoken about and referenced in the book. I really liked Anna, she's hard-working, she is a lovely person and is just someone who does the best for everyone around her. Her sister Imogen is very different - she enjoys being a free spirit even though her family want her home, and is reluctant to want to stay in England because of her travel bug. Even so, I liked how passionate she was about her photography and although she made some bad mistakes, her heart was in the right place.

Clements chose to set part of the book in Italy too, where Anna goes on an ice-cream making course and meets some new friends. I loved how realistically she writes these scenes, you can really imagine beautiful Italy around her, and the way she describes the ice-cream making process and the mouth-watering flavours she discovers sound just amazing! I really liked the character of Matteo she meets in Italy as well, he was great to read about, and their friendship was very sweet. In fact, the whole usage of ice-cream throughout the book was brilliant, and it certainly makes you think differently about it, especially when you're only used to eating the basic flavours we all know and love! I've never made my own ice-cream but this book makes it seem do-able and it'd be interesting to have a go!

This book was a joy from start to finish, and I have to say I'm a bit gutted that I read it as quickly as I did because it meant it was over too quickly! I loved everything about it, from the brilliant characters to the storyline that really draws you in. Yes, the idea of someone inheriting a shop has been done countless times in fiction, but there was something different about this one, it was more about the journey these women went on and how the shop helps them do that and changes them as people. The ice-creams sound so delicious, the shop sounds perfect, and I wish there were more places like that to visit as it sounds perfect! With a few bubbling romances going on, lots of delicious ice-cream and characters to really care about, Vivien's Heavenly Ice-Cream Shop is a book you'll definitely want to devour this summer. I really loved it, and I know you will too!


  1. Thanks for your review. I really like the sound of this book. Made me feel a bit more summery (if there is such a word) reading this, with the thought of ice cream.

  2. Fabulous review, Chloe! Really excited to read this! xx