I’ve loved Milly Johnson ever since I first read The Yorkshire Pudding Club in a random set of books ordered from The Book People, and I can’t see that love diminishing any time soon, quite the opposite in fact! I could honestly read Milly’s books all day every day, although my poor to-read shelf wouldn’t be very happy about it if I did!
I read a lot of tweets in the build up to the book launch, which ramped up my excitement for the new book. I would have loved to make it to the actual launch event, but sadly I had to work. Next time, I’ll be there no matter what!
I knew just from the title of the book that it was going to combine two of my favourite things: books and tea, but the teashop sounded more delightful than I could have imagined; with all the lovely classic book themed stationery on sale, it sounded like my idea of heaven! If it actually existed I don’t think I’d ever want to leave, and that’s without meeting the lovely owner and her patrons who very quickly become treasured friends.
The book had everything I wanted from a book; happiness, romance, surprise and an (eventual) happy ending. Of course the happy parts wouldn’t be quite so happy if there weren’t sad parts to balance them out (after all, nobody has a perfect life), and this book contained plenty of that too. Each character is battling some demons in their life, things that have left their life in turmoil and in need of a fresh start. And some seem to be battling things that they’re not ready to talk about yet, although in true-to-life style, nothing can stay secret forever and facing up to the truth comes sooner than expected.
I wish I’d saved the final chapters of the book until I got home curled up with a cup of tea, rather than reading it at my desk on my lunch break at work and trying to hold in the tears. I felt a little emotionally battered at the end, put through a wringer and spat out the other side.
Milly has a knack of writing characters that I can instantly relate to. Not because I’ve been through the same things that they have, but because their life and their situations are written so intricately that you feel like you know each and every one of them personally.
I also love the fact that Milly is from Yorkshire and proud (just like me), and she uses Yorkshire front and centre in her books, unlike some authors who pander to the city-masses and set their books in London. Yorkshire is such a beautiful place, why would you want not want to use it as a backdrop for such a fantastic story?! It definitely wouldn’t have been the same if it had been set in a big city, the Yorkshire village backdrop is perfect for the characters who converge in the teashop.
Usually when a book is written from more than one perspective, I have characters that I prefer to read, and sometimes a character who I tend to read more quickly because I just want to get back to the others, but I didn’t find that at all, each character had something in them that made me want to get to know them more. As I said before, I really wish that the teashop existed, although if it did I’d be bankrupt within weeks with all the lovely book related items that are on sale!
I’m probably gushing a bit too much now and I should probably stop, but I have nothing but good things to say about Milly Johnson and her latest book. Time to dig up the back-catalogue and pick up the few books that I have left to read!