Summer At Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts is the most delightful contemporary novel that will leave you smiling and feeling good. This was my third visit to the pudding pantry and I have loved all my visits. It was so good to catch up with old friends.
All the characters are wonderfully drawn. The reader feels welcomed into the story as we, along with the characters, bond over food. Once more Caroline Roberts has included recipes for you to salivate over and have a go yourself.
Summer is in full swing as the whole community looks forward to Rachel and Tom’s wedding. With comprehensive descriptions from Caroline Roberts we can ‘see’ the preparations.
There is a wonderful community atmosphere. If there is a crisis everyone pulls together. The flip side is gossip and the rumour mill spread like wild fire. Your business is never your own.
Relationships are not all hearts and flowers, they take work. We witness wobbles between couples as life intrudes. They need to work together to defeat the world. Marriages, like gardens, need love and care to flourish. We cannot expect them to last if we put zero effort in.
The novel is tinged with sadness as Rachel’s father cannot be there (no spoiler’s here, he departed before book one opened). “Grief and loss didn’t just disappear at happier times.” Even in times of celebration, we remember the empty seat. The reader ‘feels’ the conflicting emotions of happiness tinged with sadness.
I adore all Caroline Roberts books. If you have never picked one up, you are missing out. Summer At Rachel’s Pudding Pantry is just the ticket to brighten up any day.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
A Word From Caroline Roberts
Love and Marriage in ‘Summer at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’
I really enjoyed immersing myself in all the summer wedding detail in this book. It was a joyful and happy book to write. Whilst researching, I looked at wedding magazines and chatted with friends who’d had countryside weddings recently, and I was very much inspired by all the wonderful moments I remembered from my daughter’s wedding a few years ago. I loved getting involved with the planning for that and I’m quite creative, so I delighted in making paintings for the table numbers, helping with ideas for the table settings etc. – there were flowers in small milk jugs, jam jar posies for the aisle, chocolate favours (which of course, in this story, had to come from The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop!) and more. It’s sad to hear that so many weddings have had to be cancelled due to the lockdown this spring/summer, but I do hope the couples and their families and friends get their special day soon.
An important message in this book too, is that marriage isn’t just about the big day and the celebrations, and Rachel and Tom realise that. What is the true meaning of marriage, of partnership, of that commitment? That was the question I was asking. I enjoyed exploring the ups and downs of relationships and marriage in the story: with a marriage that was in trouble for Eve and Ben, a messy divorce for Tom, being widowed – the sad and abrupt end of a marriage – for Jill, and then the chance to find love again. I’ll not give too much of the story away, but it’s wonderful that there’s a sense of hope through all this in the book.
I hope you enjoy ‘Summer at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’, and thank you so much for having me on your blog!