18 August 2014

Book Review: The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson

"Life is full of second chances…if only you keep your heart open for them.

Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. And at its centre is Leni Merryman's Teashop on the Corner, specialising in cake, bookish stationery and compassion. And for three people, all in need of a little TLC, it is somewhere to find a friend to lean on.

Carla Pride has just discovered that her late husband Martin was not who she thought he was. And now she must learn to put her marriage behind her and move forward.

Molly Jones's ex-husband Harvey has reappeared in her life after many years, wanting to put right the wrongs of the past before it is too late.

And Will Linton's business has gone bust and his wife has left him to pick up the pieces. Now he needs to gather the strength to start again.

Can all three find the comfort they are looking for in The Teashop on the Corner? And as their hearts are slowly mended by Leni, can they return the favour when she needs it most…?"

Rating: 5/5

You can buy The Teashop on the Corner as a paperback or an eBook now.

One of my favourite authors is Milly Johnson, and I so look forward to a new novel from her each year - I always know I am guaranteed a brilliant read! There's been many of Milly's books I have read to date that can easily be called my favourite book by her, but this new one, The Teashop on the Corner, is definitely my favourite one by Milly to date. It's got everything I wanted in one of Milly's books, and I just couldn't put it down from the moment I began! Here's why I think The Teashop on the Corner is an absolute must-read.

Carla is devastated when her husband Martin dies very suddenly, and she's left to contemplate the rest of her life on her own, not with her husband by her side. But when she discovers the secret that Martin has been keeping from her all these years, she realises she has to move on and find a new future for herself. Molly lives alone, next door to her sister, and when a blast from her past makes a shocking reappearance in her life, is Molly ready to forgive the wrongs Harvey did to her so many years ago and make peace? Will's business has sadly gone bust, and his wife has high-tailed it away back to her parents as well, leaving Will feeling pretty worthless. He too must start again from nothing, and prove to himself that he's worth more than his wife ever made him feel. These characters come into each other's lives at Leni Merryman's lovely Teashop on the Corner in Spring Hill Square, where the new friends share more just a cup of tea and a chat together!

I've often said that I love books where there are lots of character stories going on, and then bringing them altogether to create another story, and that is exactly what Milly has done with this book. We're introduced to each of these characters separately, each going through a bit of a tough time of their own, and then being brought together through Leni and her lovely teashop. For me, I have to say the teashop was the highlight of the book! It sounded like a book lover's haven, full of lovely bookish goods such as stationery, mugs, tea towels and all sorts of good, as well as the obligatory cake and tea of course! It sounded great, and you can see why each of the new friends kept returning for more! Leni was a bit of a mysterious character, hovering on the outside for most of the book but as her story was revealed bit by bit, I couldn't help but warm to her more and more.

The other three characters were fantastic, and each had their own stories to tell. I felt terribly sorry for poor Carla whose husband Martin was a bit of a dog, shall we say. Moving on can be hard, but with the help of her best friend, and some of her new found friends too, Carla tries to build a life for herself, away from the stigma of being Martin's wife, and I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell. I liked her friendship with Will too, the poor man was utterly sucked in by his awful ex-wife and he was such a kind soul, I felt bad for him when he lost everything he had because of the recession. Finally, there was the bittersweet story of Molly and Harvey, a long-lost love mixed with heartbreak and sorrow, this was so beautifully written I'm not going to say anymore about what happens because you simply have to discover it for yourself and fall in love with them like I did.

For me, this novel is what Milly does best. It's got realistic characters, a wonderful setting, and just generally nice people that are there for each other in their time of need. When I sit down at night, I want to read something that is easy-going and is going to make me smile - this book certainly delivered on that, although I have to confess a few tears were shed as well. Milly's writing was brilliant, bringing not only the characters to life as well, but making you want to find your own Teashop on the Corner, she's made Leni's sound so very inviting! I absolutely loved everything about this book - it's Milly at her complete best, and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's definitely shot to the top of my Milly favourites list, and I know it's one I will enjoy reading again and again.

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