Poppy Carmichael spent many happy childhood holidays in St Felix, a picturesque coastal town where her grandmother owned a flower shop. It's been fifteen years since Poppy has been to St Felix and she is no longer the carefree child who would run through the town with her older brother, Will. A sadness envelops Poppy as she returns to St Felix -and not just because her beloved grandmother has passed away.
Poppy never intended to work with flowers like many members of her family have chosen to do, so she isn't overly thrilled when she discovers her grandmother has left her the flower shop in St Felix in her will. Poppy doesn't want to take over The Daisy Chain, but returns to St Felix to appease her mother. But once she's back in St Felix, Poppy begins to feel the magic of the town again, especially when she starts to make new friends. Perhaps St Felix and the flower shop can help Poppy overcome her past and help her to find happiness once more.
I've been looking forward to reading The Little Flower Shop By The Sea for a while but I decided to be patient and save it for my holiday, which turned out to be a great decision as the book made such a wonderful summery read that was perfect for reading by the pool. Ali McNamara has such a warmth to her writing that I immediately slipped into the world of Poppy and could vividly imagine the gorgeous coastal town of St Felix. It sounds like such a lovely, magical place with its gorgeous scenery and a great sense of community. I particularly liked The Blue Canary and its owners. We only meet them briefly but I would love to know more about them in the future!
The book is jam-packed with wonderful characters. Jake, the supplier of The Daisy Chain's flowers, and Ash, a local gardener, both provided a splash of romance while Poppy's new friend Amber provides the breath of fresh air Poppy needs in both her social life and the shop. I also adored the animals within the book. Basil the dog sounds like a loving, loyal companion while Miley the capuchin monkey is a little bit cheeky and would definitely be fun to have around.
When the book begins, Poppy is quite a prickly character, but I liked how she develops as the story moves along and her steely armour is chipped away by the friendships she forms - both of the human and animal variety. There is so much going in on the book, from Poppy and her past to the re-opening of the flower shop and the mystery of a set of flower pictures that my interest was always piqued and I was glued to my Kindle. I really didn't want the book to end!
My Summer Reads is a celebration of summer reading, with reviews, giveaways and sunshiny reading habits.