Friday, November 5, 2021

Book Review: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar

By Sara Steven

When River’s Aunt Sheba dies unexpectedly, leaving him her ancient VW campervan, nostalgia nudges him and Alice back to Glastonbury - and the surrounding villages - to rediscover their roots whilst serving the most decadent hot chocolate and delectable gingerbread from their renovated ‘bar on wheels’.

A bar on wheels complete with a fold-up stage to host local talent competitions rivalling anything Simon Cowell could dream up, even if he’d gorged on a truckle of Cheddar cheese!

As the villagers sip their cocoa and ice their gingerbread houses amidst the festive backdrop of song, dance, and slightly more unconventional talents, River and Alice find themselves in an unexpected race against time:

Zara, their chocolate supplier is leaving Glastonbury on the twelfth day of Christmas, keen to put a string of disastrous relationships behind her to make a fresh start.

Bruno, their gregarious and gorgeous baking supplier is secretly smitten with Zara - ticking every box on her New Year’s wish list.

If only they can get them together for one experimental kiss under the mistletoe… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

What do you do when you’re at a crossroads in life and unsure of where the future might take you? You hop into a campervan, travel to various villages, and sell holiday-themes wares!

I always appreciate a unique storyline, and that was given here in abundance within Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar. I’ve yet to read any other premise like this one, in any other book. River and Alice find themselves in a situation where they’re not sure where they’re headed, not only as a couple, but for their futures, and River has had hot chocolate and gingerbread on the brain. Their “bar on wheels” becomes the catalyst for bringing joy to others, and also buys them time in deciding what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I only wish to have a "bar on wheels" travel into my neighborhood, particularly at this time of year. It really is a clever idea!

Thrown into the mix are Zara and Bruno, two characters who define to a T the phrase, “opposites attract.” There is a bit of background provided into Zara’s previous love life disasters, with a brief mention of Bubblegum and Blazers, another great read by Isabella May, and from her description alone it’s not hard to see why she’s been so careful in trying to protect her heart from everyone, even men as gorgeous as Bruno. But Bruno seems to always get off on the wrong foot with her, only adding to the hilarity of the situation. 

I really appreciated the scenic routes taken, and the description of the villages and the people within it. From the get go, the reader learns that the “bar on wheels” isn’t always up to par, as with one of their first stops and an unusual beverage request that might just derail the whole thing. And the two buddies they have hanging around for comedic entertainment with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” seemed like it would be pretty interesting to see in person. (Another friend can play beats with spoons, ala Spoonman.) There were a lot of interesting moments that were totally off the beaten path, making this a very quirky, fun holiday read!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar

Isabella May
lives in (mostly) sunny Andalusia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the mountains and the sea. She grew up on Glastonbury's ley lines and loves to feature her quirky English hometown in her stories.

After a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies at UWE, Bristol (and a year working abroad in Bordeaux and Stuttgart), Isabella bagged an extremely jammy and fascinating job in children's publishing... selling foreign rights for novelty, board, pop-up and non-fiction books all over the world; in every language from Icelandic to Korean, Bahasa Indonesian to Papiamento!

All of which has fuelled her curiosity and love of international food and travel - both feature extensively in her cross-genre novels, fused with a dollop of romcom, and a sprinkle of magical realism.

Isabella is also a Level 4 Pranic Healer and a stillbirth mum.

Visit Isabella online:
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