“Christmas at the Little Beach Bakery” a delight to read during the holidays. Its author, Jenny Colgan, spent time in Cornwall, England as a child so the setting is wrapped around her joyful memories.
The story begins in Mount Palbearne, a Cornish tidal island connected to the mainland by a causeway that is covered by water twice a day during high tide. This causes some difficulty for tourists who love to visit Mount Palbearne and its quaint shops.
Polly Waterford and her boyfriend Huckle live in a lighthouse there. Polly owns the Little Beach Bakery and has a busy life baking tasty treats for everyone on the island.
Huckle owns a beekeeping business and isn't half as busy as Polly. They have a pet puffin, Neil, that Polly adopted after it broke its wing as a puffling. The bird was supposed to fly away after healing but that hasn't happened.
Polly and Huckle are engaged and he hopes that they will marry soon. However Polly doesn't seem ready for various reasons unknown to him. Huckle thinks that she is too busy with her baking business to settle down. She does love Huckle very much, though.
Polly and Huckle are best friends with Karensa and Reuben who live in an opulent mansion on the mainland. The two couples are like "4 peas in a pod" for they are inseparable. This novel is about their friendship.
Karensa and Reuben are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary but Reuben is going to be gone on a business trip at that time. He doesn't think being there with Karensa is that important. Karensa is livid about his decision, so she decides to celebrate without him.
Polly is busy so Karensa and another friend, Salina, go " out on the town." This is when a "bad thing happens.” She and Salina meet up with other gals and guys and drink too much. Karensa wakes up in a hotel room after sleeping with someone else.
It isn’t long before Karensa discovers that she is pregnant. Reuben is ecstatic and tells everyone, including Polly and Huckle, who are happy to hear the news. However, Polly notices that her best friend isn't as exuberant as a mother-to-be is expected to be.
Other interesting characters are introduced into this novel and other developments occur as Christmas approaches and Karensa’s pregnancy comes to term.
The final chapters are full of wonderful surprises that will warm your heart. I know, for that is what happened to me as I read “Christmas at the Little Beach Backery." Enjoy!