Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review: The Little Teashop of Lost and Found

By Becky Gulc

With a beautiful cover and a story set in Haworth (known for its link with the Bronte sisters),  I was drawn to the latest novel by Trisha Ashley. The story focuses on Alice ,who as a baby was left abandoned in an isolated spot just outside of Haworth.

Luckily, she was found and raised by a loving adoptive father, although also by an uncaring adoptive mother. When her father passes away Alice feels lost and subsequently life sees her move from place to place without every really settling down or feeling like she belongs anywhere.

Just when Alice is starting to feel settled in a place and in a committed relationship a sad event throws her life into turmoil once more. This time Alice is feeling impulsive and when she sees a lovely teashop for sale in Haworth she strongly feels it’s her calling to go back there, run her own business for the very first time, and hopefully find out more about her birth family. But will the teashop be as good as it seems and will there be a family there to welcome this stranger into their lives?

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found is such a lovely heart-warming book and it was lovely to escape to the setting each night. I’ve visited Haworth and surrounding areas a couple of times and it’s such a picturesque and atmospheric place to visit. The feel of this location resonates through Trisha’s writing, and it definitely makes me want to go back and soon! From the eerie isolated setting of Oldstone where Alice is abandoned to the snicket in Haworth where the teashop is located, I really felt like I was there. Lovely rich description, which I felt was built upon as the novel progressed.

The story itself is well-balanced and it’s not all about searching for Alice’s birth family, although this is an important element and I was very interested in this story. The narrative is cleverly structured so each chapter begins with a couple of paragraphs from the perspective of the person who left Alice on the moors all those years ago, before going into Alice’s story. I loved these snippets of insight, just a little to make us question who this person is and get to know them, even if they are seemingly very cold.

The setting up of the teashop was covered in a lot of detail but interestingly so. (Especially for someone like me, who daydreams about running a quaint little teashop in a beautiful setting!). This is a teashop Alice pretty much has to set up from scratch and I enjoyed reading about all the decisions Alice has to make, from crockery to the bakes for the afternoon teas. I’m glad I live in York as I can go and get myself a fat rascal tomorrow, as these were referenced a few times, it has made me want one!

I loved the mix of characters from the lovely Giddings family that embraces Alice when she arrives, to the brooding Nile who runs the antiques shop opposite her teashop, and the rudest waitresses in Yorkshire Alice employs! It felt like a tight-knit community that has all the different types of characters you’d expect to see.

My only slight criticism would be that some aspects of the story became a bit repetitive, Alice being invited to stay at Oldstone, talk of Sunday dinners, just little things that I ended up wondering whether some could have been omitted to shorten the story a bit. I don’t think this would have detracted from the story in some places, but as I say only a minor thing and I still loved it!

I obviously don’t want to give anything away about Alice’s birth family but to suffice to say as a reader you probably have an inkling of how things will pan out. However, there is also a twist I didn’t see coming near the end but one of those which leaves you wondering how reliable the character is! All in all, a very satisfying, lovely read.

Thanks to Transworld (Penguin Random House UK) for the book in exchange for an honest review. Visit all the stops on Trisha's blog tour.

1 comment:

Janine said...

Sounds really good