I do not remember how I came by this book; I don’t remember buying it, finding it, choosing it or even reading it for the first time. I do however clearly remember how this book made me feel, and the many times that I have trundled off in the direction of the bookshelf to reacquiant myself with my old friend Tansy.
I have already written a review ( Book Review: The Christmas Invitation by Trisha Ashley ) explaining my exact love for Trisha Ashley as an author. Please allow me to wax lyrical about why this specific one is my favourite of all her books (so far).
Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues is one of my ‘comfort books’ which I dip into regularly for a feel-good read. I was recently discussing books with my grandma, and the long story short is that I sent her a copy of this book in the post for her enjoyment. (Spoiler alert – she also loved it. I believe it is now working its way around my aunties.)
The story has a strong Cinderella theme running without actually being a full-on retelling of the classic tale. I found the regular references to be fun and relevant, without being dusty in the way that some cinderella stories can become after you’ve heard a dozen or so.
I absolutely adore the relationship between Tansy and her Aunt Nan – they are such a wholesome pair with genuine affection pouring off the pages and into your lap. Their traditions, chatter and regard for each other are a delight on days where people just generally suck, and while Tansy’s wider family dynamic may not be smooth sailing, making for some interesting plot twists, her home with Nancy is filled with (almost) everything a girl could need.
As Nancy gets older and is struggling to keep the family shoe shop going, Tansy brings new life into it by reviving it as a specialist wedding shoe shop with all of the fun and frills that such a venture deserves. I loved reading about her and her best friend Bella planning the glitz-fest and slowly bringing it to life between them.
In my previous review I discussed my other halfs views on Trisha Ashley books and how they tend to work out in his favour – she writes so lovingly and tantalisingly about food, especially baking that sometimes I find myself in the kitchen almost by default. The haul below was the result of indulging in this book during a night shift spree – I got a little carried away as you can see, though feel fully justified in laying the blame squarely at the authors feet. The main character Tansy does love to bake, sharing her love with Aunt Nan and her friends.
There is of course a romance, I don’t think I’ve yet read one of her books where there isn’t. Tansy starts off the book with her fiancee orthopaedic consultant Justin, who seems perfect on paper but comes with slightly more baggage than originally revealed (including a very tenacious mother), and later reacquaints herself with old flame and Prince Charming Ivo, the moody grieving actor who moves in next door. I’ll let you work through that storyline in your own sweet time.
It will come to no surprise to anybody that I am thoroughly recommending this book to anyone who will stay still long enough to listen, especially those who love a bit of feel-good chick-lit. It has a special place in my heart, and on my bookshelf. My only concern is that I haven’t yet read ‘Chocolate Wishes’, a book I have recently (today) discovered is set in the same village with many of the supporting characters. I think I may have found my next book….
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