As lockdown is in full swing, one of the bloggers in a group I am in has started an online book club. I’ve not been much of a book reader lately, but as I no longer can go out, I figured reading would take up a bit of free time that has opened up. The first book for our book club was The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay. This was a romance novel and certainly not the type of book I would have picked for myself, so I was pretty excited to dive on in.
The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay centers a story around Rosa, an orphan who knows nothing about her parents, who has inherited an old shop in the sea-side town of Cockleberry Bay. Going from a London lifestyle down to the slow-moving pace of Devon, Rosa is trying to figure out her life and accomplish something for the first time in her life. Along with her is the ever-likeable dog she has rescued, called Hot – who’s a dashen hound.
After visiting the little shop, she realizes that she has no idea how to open or run a shop – but also isn’t looking for help. With a lot of determination, she begins to try to figure out how to run a corner shop on her own, while getting to know the locals and staying at a small inn in Cockleberry Bay. As you read The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, the biggest thing that sticks out, is the number of unsavory characters within the story. Rosa herself isn’t super likeable, as she is reckless, hard and often uncaring. The first few characters we meet in the story always seem to want something or come off with a creepy vibe.
Following the idea of a small, close knit community in Devon, many of the townspeople are very nosey, wanting to know exactly what Rosa is up too and why she is visiting so close to Christmas when the sea side isn’t exactly the best place to go to. There are lots of intertwining stories, meddling and characters just trying to dig far deeper than they should realistically dig. With all of what is going on in this quiet town, through the story, we get to know the lives of so many different people; from the drag queens who own another local inn to the old, blind witch who lives down the road. Cockleberry Bay is full of strange characters and quite a bit of mystery for a place so determined to know exactly what is going on with everyone.
On top of the attitudes and people from this town, there is also the mystery of why Rosa left this inn and what exactly is going on with it. There are strange terms, weird occurrences during her time there and she clearly isn’t qualified to actually run the story but is full of determination, so she’s trying her best. As for the romance aspect of this novel, a lot of the relationships within the story were just moments of casual sex or long relationships that still didn’t seem to be going anywhere for whatever reason.
There are many highs and so many more lows in The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, with the ending being one of the most disappointing bits of the story for me. After all that Rosa has been through, the very end of the book seems like a quick wrap-up and an unbelievable ending, especially as there is a sequel for this book. Following Rosa’s story of going from nothing to owning a shop in a sleepy town and overcoming the rumors of the people within that town is one that will keep you on your toes.
You can find The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay on Amazon.
Author: Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter has a lifestyle blog with her partner Dann where they write reviews, days out, recipes and anything else that peaks their interest!