Saturday, May 7, 2011

Semi-Sweet by Roisin Meaney

Hannah Robinson is just about to open the doors to her new shop Cupcakes on the Corner when out of the blue her boyfriend Patrick announces that he's leaving her for another woman. Faced with starting a business on her own, Hannah begins to wonder if her life-long dream has just turned into a nightmare. So her best friend Adam sets his birthday as a deadline - seven months to make her shop a success, or walk away from it all. And as Hannah immerses herself in her new business, she soon discovers that she's too busy to think about Patrick and his now pregnant girlfriend ...or to notice an increasingly regular customer who has recently developed a sweet tooth for all things cupcake. But while Hannah is slowly piecing her life back together, family friend Alice's is falling apart. Her husband Tom's drinking is getting out of control and things are about to get a whole lot worse. As the seven-month milestone approaches, Hannah must decide her future. And while she's figuring out what's really important, it becomes clear to everyone that happiness in life, and in love, is all in the making. (Synopsis from Barnes &

I really enjoyed this book.  Hannah is a likeable character, trying to make a success of her life and she keeps going even when she gets a big kick in the teeth from her philandering live-in boyfriend.  She has a supportive family, a best friend- Adam, and employees who care about her business.  Ms. Meaney juggles a lot of plots in this book and does an excellent job doing so. There is a thread about Hannah's romantic life and if it progresses or stays stagnant. We get a glimpse into the hard life of a person who runs their own business and the triumphs and pitfalls of that endeavor. Philandering Patrick gets a storyline which includes his now pregnant girlfriend. One of Hannah's friends has a personal tragedy that is related to Hannah's dad  through a friendship of his. Lots of things going on in this book....

Ms. Meaney weaves everything together so it all makes sense. Characters are not one dimensional and we see both sides of each one's story. There were characters that would be unsympathetic under less skilled hands but in this book we see both their flaws and their difficulties. There is one female character that is pretty despicable and hard to understand but we do get a small peek into her motivation for the things she does. (Still didn't like her!)

This is a good book to settle down with for the weekend and enjoy. I look forward to reading other books by the same author.

Library note: This book is available at RPL in the Adult New Book section as a trade paperback.

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