Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review: Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements
Publisher: Quercus
Release Date: 22/05/13
Pages: 400
Genre: Chick-lit

When Imogen and Anna unexpectedly inherit their grandmother Vivien's ice cream parlour, it turns both their lives upside down. The Brighton shop is a seafront institution, but though it's big on retro charm it's critically low on customers. If the sisters don't turn things around quickly, their grandmother's legacy will disappear forever.

With summer fast approaching, Imogen and Anna devise a plan. Rather than sell up, they will train up, and make the parlour the newest destination on the South Coast foodie map.

While Imogen watches the shop and conjures new marketing ideas, her sister flies to Italy to attend a gourmet ice cream-making course. But can their best-laid plans survive their warring family, tempestuous love lives - and the great British Weather? One thing is for certain - this summer will be like no other.

Firstly how pretty is this cover?! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to buy this book. I've heard great things about Abby Clement's previous book Meet Me Under the Mistletoe so I could not wait to get my hands on this one. When Vivien, Anna and Imogen's Grandmother, dies and leaves them her ice cream parlour, it's a shock for the whole family. Neither Anna or Imogen have any business experience and are already living very different lives.

Anna has just bought her first home in Brighton with her boyfriend Jon. She has a great job, great boyfriend and everything seems to be settling into place for her.

Imogen is more of a free spirit. Having no dreams of settling down any time soon she is happiest when exploring undiscovered corners of the earth. She is spending her time creating a photography portfolio of underwater landscapes and having moonlit walks on the beach. The girls are thousands of miles apart when tragedy strikes.

Once the girls are reunited we get to see how close they are as sisters but also how different their personalities are. It's lovely to see how two people can get on even though they do not have a lot of shared interests. One thing they do have in common however is their love for their Grandma and their aim to preserve their Grandma's legacy.

The book is split into two main parts.The first part deals with the family's loss - how everyone copes individually and as a family. The girls also have to decide whether they are ready to take on the ice cream parlour. Do they have the bravery to embark on this new challenge or will they return to their old lives?

In the second part the girls embark on their ice cream journey. Imogen develops some marketing ideas whilst Anna flies to Italy to learn how to make great ice cream from the experts. I was practically drooling at this part in the story. The ingenious ice cream flavours that were created sounded absolutely gorgeous, Abby Clements described them beautifully. And the setting of Italy - wow! I felt like I was right there with Anna, soaking up the Italian sunshine and enjoying the lovely sights Italy has to offer.

It wasn't always smooth running for the girls, reinventing a business is hard and they had their fair share of ups and downs. It all made the story more believable, it's never easy starting from scratch.

For me this was a fantastic summer read. Abby Clements transported me to a lovely summery place full to the brim with ice cream. However I have a word of advice - stock up on ice cream before you read! I was so desperate for some whilst reading and the recipes in the back of the book sound absolutely delicious.

5/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Down with the Trumpets by Rizzle Kicks
These lads are from Brighton and this is such a summery tune!

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  1. Everytime I see a review for this book it just makes me want to read it more! I want a hard copy but can't find it in any of my bookshops! I'm going to give in and order online. Great review!

    1. Thank you :) I highly recommend it! Gutted you can't find it in store, I got my copy from Tesco.


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