Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan is the perfect retreat for anyone who’s ever worked their hardest and failed anyway. Polly and her former boyfriend Chris did everything they could to keep his graphic design business alive, and Polly is exhausted, from working so hard to save the business, and to uplift a a negative, critical boyfriend. When her entire life falls apart, she has to find the cheapest living space available: a second-story decrepit flat above a failed bakery far outside the city in a small fishing town, whose traffic and tourism are still defined by the high tides. But it couldn’t be a better place for this bread-loving baker, who gets an opportunity to do she loves, for the first time in her life. Before long, she befriends a handsome sailor, an American beekeeper, and a baby puffling who needs her as much as she does him.
- “When Polly was down in the dumps, she wanted comfort, and comfort reading..” such as Anne of Green Gables, What Katy Did at School, and Alice in Wonderland, which wound up being saved and borrowed by Tarnie. How did this set the tone for their relationship? Why do you think those books were her comfort reading, and why do you think reading was her comfort? Do you have any comfort books or habits other than reading?
- Why was Polly told not to give the puffling a name? How was that reason also the “story of her life” and in what ways was it a good thing?
For more discussion questions, visit owlcation.com/humanities/The-Little-Beach-Street-Bakery-by-Jenny-Colgan.
When “marching along narrow shady country lanes with no particular plan in mind,” Polly walked past a large rosemary plant, which she promptly grabbed some of for her fresh-baked bread. She also sold some of Huckle’s honey alongside her bread. Polly also admitted to loving “pain d’epices,” which is a French bread usually made with rye flour, and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and even orange zest. So for this book, I combined rosemary, honey, a little cinnamon and orange zest into the a savory-sweet spice cupcake, with a honey cinnamon frosting.
Honey Rosemary Spice Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Frosting
- unbleached all-purpose flour
- salted butter
- brown sugar
- large eggs
- sour cream
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- navel orange
- grated nutmeg
- ground allspice
- baking soda
- baking powder
- fresh rosemary
- powdered sugar
For full recipe and instructions, visit owlcation.com/humanities/The-Little-Beach-Street-Bakery-by-Jenny-Colgan.
Jenny Colgan has numerous funny, insatiable novels that will have you craving everything from chocolate to cupcakes, as well as more details of the intricate lives of her heroines. Her bestsellers are, beginning with the continuation of Polly’s story: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, and her newest book, The Bookshop on the Corner. She also has 3 Christmas novels available.
Sarah Addison Allen’s novels are very similar in style and making you crave various delectable delights, including romance. Some of her most popular novels are: Garden Spells, its bestselling sequel, First Frost, The Sugar Queen, Lost Lake, and The Peach Keeper.
More books about the healing power of baking for a person putting the pieces of their life back together are: The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe by Mary Simses and The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert.
A few books mentioned within this book are Anne of Green Gables, What Katy Did at School, Alice in Wonderland, and there is a particularly hilarious moment when Huckle accuses Polly of reenacting Wuthering Heights.