Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: Game of Scones

By Becky Gulc

‘Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure accounting job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones – with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niklaus by her side…

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niklaus and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project: The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

Game of Scones is an e-book only publication from Carina Press and is Samantha’s fourth novel. This was my first introduction to Samantha’s writing and I liked the synopsis, I’m always happy to be taken on holidays through books and I do love baking too, so it sounded like a great combination!

It doesn’t take long for us to be transported to Taxos and for Pippa to be reacquainted with the Greek family she knows so well from the many summers she had spent on the island with her parents while growing up. With this being her first visit as an adult, it’s a risk that she’s become distanced from the family, but this isn’t the case at all. In fact, Pippa sees some things a lot differently in these people as an adult. This is a place with which Pippa has strong ties; she loves the island and the people on it, so this is one young woman who will fight for the future of the island when it’s threatened, even if this creates difficulties in her relationship with Henrik.

I particularly enjoyed the Greek family in this novel: Niko, his parents and the lovely Grandma (who was a great character and had a lovely relationship with Pippa). This is a very loyal and tight-knit family who you feel for when their island is under threat from unwanted development. The community spirit is also a very uplifting part of the novel, these islanders are not going to be pushovers by any means!

I perhaps would have liked more build-up in the novel before Pippa heads to Taxos, and I sometimes felt like Pippa’s internal questioning of her relationship with Henrik became a bit repetitive at times. I would have liked to see an epilogue as the ending felt a bit abrupt and I wanted to know more about what happened next, but these are small qualms overall, and maybe there will be a follow-up!

Game of Scones is an enjoyable light read with a good story and characters. The baking element of the story is also an enjoyable aspect, it doesn’t overly feature just when pertinent to the story. I certainly enjoyed the descriptions of the various types of scones Pippa makes and in fact I’m going to make some scones this afternoon! An enjoyable read for summer.

Thanks to Samantha Tonge for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Samantha Tonge:


Janine said...

This sounds like a cute story. I also take holidays through books. Most anything in an exotic location will get my attention.

Unknown said...

Thanks Janine!
And thanks so much for reviewing, Becky, glad you enjoyed the book!
Sam x