The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

Title: The Cake Shop in the Garden

Author: Carole Matthews

Publishers: Little Brown Books, Sphere

Format: HardbackPaperback / Kindle

A Page of Love Rating:


Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn't do all this, who will?

Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she's ever made.

When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay's entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn't know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision - even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most? Life, love and family are about to collide in The Cake Shop in the Garden.


I was so excited to read this book that when it did arrive (courtesy of Sphere, Thank You!!) all I could do was sit there and gaze lovingly at the book cover. I mean look at it, go on, take a few minutes to gaze adoringly at it, you can even stroke the screen if you want to, I won't tell. I do it too, shh!! 

When I began reading it, I admit that I struggled to get in to it. I know a lot of people said they sat down to read it and couldn't put it down. But sadly, I did put it down, a few times. I know! I'm sorry! argh! 

I got to around 150 pages in and then I gave myself a talking to and said, c'mon! Read this beautiful book! So that's exactly what I did. I sat and I read page after page...after page. Until I finished. I am so glad that I did, it was a really enjoyable story about taking what life deals you and making the best of it, and to do that, sometimes you have to put yourself first. 

Fay Merryweather is an adorable character if somewhat a bit of a doormat and for that I feel sorry for her. Her mother, Miranda refuses to get out of bed and in the words of Fay's friend and employee Lija (the latvian who could give sailors a run for their money in terms of language usage!), 'All the Old Bag does is bangbangbang on the ceiling' when there is nothing wrong with her and she could actually get out of bed and do things herself. 

Then their is Anthony, Fay's boyfriend of 10 years...dear god I don't know how she put up with him so long. He is perfectly dull and lacks passion. I mean for goodness sakes... his highlight of his life is sodding bell-ringing... when Fay went to one of his practices, I nearly died of boredom right there with her. (Well Done Carole on writing the most realistic dull chapter really helped to understand the characters). I have to admit I knew he was up to something a while before the bell rang in Fay's head... doormat... naive... or just doing what many women are guilty of doing in life at times (myself included) and refusing to see whats in front of her nose? 

Then we have Edie, the 'perfect sister' in her mothers eyes. Far from perfect, and so damn well bloody annoying, (again, this is a credit to Carole because she encapsulates the characters personalities brilliantly). I thought that after a few encounters with Edie, I couldn't get more shocked by her, but when I thought she'd actually pull together with Edie when they lose someone dear to them, she shows that she really can be her mother's daughter, something even she likes to point out, on several occasions. There were many times when I could have swung for Edie, and I think I actually caught myself 'flicking her name' in the book just because I couldn't give her a swift slap! Edie is the 'other' woman, who is kept by a married man, and when he starts to show signs of getting fed up with her, bleeds Fay dry of her money that should have been to do up her fathers pride and joy, the Maid of Merryweather, the canal boat, but of course, Fay is not the most assertive, so Edie gets what Edie wants. 

I loved Stan, and the fact that Carole included this wonderful character in this book was truly brilliant. Stan is a 93 year old war hero who has done things, seen things and felt things that so many of us in our lives can never dream of. I loved reading his little stories, and his character is just adorable. 

Lija, complete with swearing is just the friend that every woman has, and if she doesn't she wants. There was nothing about Lija that I didn't like or love. I would love to read how she takes hold of the reigns of her new life, and I'm sure that Carole may just gift us that in the future. (If we ask nicely.... and beg.... and offer cake!) 

So, when Fay who doesn't grumble about life - although I wished she would have at times - spots delicious eye candy at the bottom of her garden in the form of young hot stud Danny, my heart leaped for her, and with her on occasions. Danny shows Fay what real love is like, and Anthony, well, hes a good guy, just not one to get the old pulse rate up. However, Fay's stuck in her ways and she might not be brave enough to be at one with her desires, Danny leaves, more than once, but will this time be the last time? 

Overall, I love the characters, I love the story line, it did drag out in places for me personally, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and it still has Carole Matthews as one of my favourite authors. 

No comments