The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry
In the beginning…
Kitty Cartwright has always solved her problems in the kitchen. Her cookbooks are her life, and there isn’t an issue that ‘Cooking with Aspic’ can’t fix. Her only wish is that she had a book entitled ‘Rustling Up Dinner When Your Husband Has Left You’.
Forty years later…
On Rosemary Lane, Della Cartwright plans to open a very special little bookshop. Not knowing what to do with the hundreds of cookbooks her mother left her, she now wants to share their recipes with the world – and no amount of aspic will stand in her way.
But with her family convinced it’s a hare-brained scheme, Della starts to wonder if she’s made a terrible decision. One thing’s for sure: she’s about to find out…
I expected a little more humour or cosiness in this book judging by the cover and the blurb - but what I got was infinitely more. The premise is very cutesy and appealing but the actual plot deals with issues which affect many women. I don't want to give too much away so all I will say is that the author, quite accurately I felt, portrayed the conflicts which can occur at the MC's stage in life. It certainly struck a chord with me!
I thought Della's character was eminently believable, and the image that really resonated with me was that she felt she was sliding towards invisibility. Her perceived lack of role now that her daughter is grown and flown is common to many women, as is the feeling of panic when she is faced with the 'what now?' question of the empty-nester.
Mark, too, has his own mid-life crisis to face, adding spice to the story.
Dell reinvents herself and shows that although life might change when children become adults, it doesn't necessarily have to be for the worse. I just wish I'd had Della's idea!
This isn't just a story about a bookshop - it's a story about Della's emotional, social and financial growth and development into the woman she was always meant to be.