REVIEW: The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson
Life is full of second chances…if only you keep your heart open for them.
Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. And at its centre is Leni Merryman’s Teashop on the Corner, specialising in cake, bookish stationery and compassion. And for three people, all in need of a little TLC, it is somewhere to find a friend to lean on.
Carla Pride has just discovered that her late husband Martin was not who she thought he was. And now she must learn to put her marriage behind her and move forward.
Molly Jones’s ex-husband Harvey has reappeared in her life after many years, wanting to put right the wrongs of the past before it is too late.
And Will Linton’s business has gone bust and his wife has left him to pick up the pieces. Now he needs to gather the strength to start again.
Can all three find the comfort they are looking for in The Teashop on the Corner? And as their hearts are slowly mended by Leni, can they return the favour when she needs it most…?
Spoiler (Possible Triggers): Show
Dear Ms. Johnson,
Cheers to Cate for recommending this one to me. It took me a while but I finally followed up on her email. This is a very nice book about mostly very nice people finally finding their place and their way in life. It’s filled with second chances, fixing life’s mistakes, and learning to believe in yourself. The not so very nice people are easy to spot and don’t change their spots throughout the course of the book. Which might make it easier for people who don’t want characters changing up on them to decide to read it.
It’s definitely a group, ensemble production with multiple threads and plot lines all eventually converging, some sooner than others. The way is clearly marked and the characters don’t stray from it. Readers looking for twists and surprises will probably not be intrigued but if they want something a bit safer and a known quantity, then here we go.
The descriptions of the characters, their lives and their issues are well drawn and they come alive as the story unfolds. Even the ones not much in the book, or in the case of one man never there, were 3-D to me. I could see them in their nice, or odd, or quaint, or horrid estate, homes and in the lovely teashop which Leni has fitted out with so many things that we as fellow book lovers would enjoy browsing whilst – note my Britishism – sipping delicious beverages and snarfing down Leni’s home made cakes and scones. Recipes for these scrumptious sounding desserts would be appreciated.
But I will say that for me, the middle section was swimming in sea of treacle. By this point all the nasty peoplez are pretty much gone leaving only the good and true hearted who are all good and true hearted to each other in a glow of sunny happiness. Then the uglies begin to appear on the horizon – which I pretty much figured out ahead of time -and all the G&T people rally to each other in a wash of tea – after all, we’re British – and sympathy. Nice but it got a bit twee.
This is definitely a story chock full of British “feel” with a roofer who isn’t broke but skint, who doesn’t help fix up a flower store so much as kit it out and who is chuffed to meet a lovely woman to take the place of the one who left him about whom he doesn’t give a toss rather than doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
There is one subplot that I guessed a bit about but I’ll quickly own up to the fact that when the fit hits the shan about it and the truth is revealed, I was sniffing back some tears at work – shhhhhh – at how loyal friends and well wishers respond.
In the end, new friends and loves find each other, old loves discover truths they wanted to know, a book lover finds a new mum and a cat gets a new home. There aren’t too many absolute surprises here but what is in the story is sweet and mostly kind. Thanks again to Cate for steering me in the direction of this book. B-