Synopsis: Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.
So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.
Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: So this was my first Trisha Ashley book and I was really looking forward to getting stuck in, especially with the extremely enticing cover. The book starts and we are introduced to Alice Ross who is a redhead who seemingly flits from one end of the country to another. Just 6 chapters in and we had already covered a nearly 20 year time span. I have to be honest and admit that I was struggling with it a bit and found myself feeling little connection with the character. However, thankfully it seems the author did this to give the reader a really condensed version of Alice's life in preparation for what comes next. From this point on the story flowed beautifully and by the halfway mark I knew I would complete the rest in just one sitting!
So once we skip past the beginning of Alice's life we catch up with her as she is grieving for many things in her life. She decides to make an impulse move and buys a run down cafe near Haworth. With just her Beetle and a few items she makes the journey down there with the view to starting afresh and possibly getting some answers about the place in which she was born. Initially I have to be honest and say that I thought this book would be solely focused on Alice and her Teashop (hence the title). However, although the Teashop plays a huge part in the story it's not actually the main focus and this gave it a much more original feel. Sadly these types of stories are being replicated by many authors and sometimes there is such a thing as too much.
What makes this story so enjoyable was the discovery and subsequent quest to find out about where Alice was born and what the area would tell about where her life started. For me the absolute stars of this story were the very unconventional characters of Tilda and Nell. Two Yorshire ladies who are actually well known for how rude they are. They brought a brilliant sparkle to the story and made it so much more refreshing to read about some characters that brought something new to the table. In addition Alice meets the Gidding's family who are such a joy to read about as well as other locals who make more fleeting appearances such as Jack the Handyman as well as Alice's long term friend Lola.
I think that had I given up after those first 6 chapters I would never have discovered such a great author so I am pleased I persevered. The story was a joy to read and although some would peg it firmly in the 'romance' category I think there is a lot more to this that just hearts and flowers. Another great author to add to my never ending list of people I need to continue to read.