I was recently in Delhi, India and a trip to the national capital doesn’t come without the most important pilgrimage – the Maha Kumbh for all book lovers. Yes, I was at the Sunday book market at Daryaganj and it was there in one of those little footpath stores that I discovered this gorgeous looking book, Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements.
One look at it and I was completely floored. When I got back it didn’t take me much time to pick the book up and, in this review, I share my thoughts about the book with you.
Expect a book that is about ice creams, two sisters, and a great and unforgettable summer. Expect a book that is as much about finding love as it is about being together as a family.
Also, expect a book that takes you to a number of places – from the beaches of Brighton in England to the beautiful Florence in Italy and the sun-kissed beaches of Koh Tao in Thailand.
Now let’s talk about the book.
Imogen and Anna are sisters who, though currently living thousands of miles apart, have always been very close to each other.
When the unfortunate news of their grandmother’s demise reaches Imogen, she immediately rushes home only to find that their grandmother Vivien has left her vintage ice cream shop in Brighton in the care of the two sisters; a job that they aren’t very keen on taking on.
Imogen is a free bird who hates to be tied down to a single place let alone live in Brighton to run an ice cream shop. Anna, on the other hand, is currently revelling in the financial safety of her high paying job.
To add to their woes, the place is currently a wreck and needs both customers and a great deal of money to become functional.
This is the story of the two sisters and how they decide to take the challenge that their grandmother has thrown their way while at the same time dealing with their own love troubles and insecurities.
The romance is subtle and low key and just the way I like it. There are certain places where the plot seems too linear and appears lacklustre.
I would have loved if certain people and subplots were given more weight in the book. The inclusion of certain negative characters certainly lent the book some dimension and broke the monotony of a story which otherwise felt too easy and linear.
What I missed the most was the chick-lity details though; the things that make reading a chick lit fun. The lack of a decent dose of humour is also something that I missed in the book. While reading Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop, it is the characters that manage to hold the story and in turn, the book together for the reader.
While Imogen is carefree and lighthearted, Anna is much more grounded and responsible. The relationship that they share with each other is an ideal one.
I also loved the characters of Finn and Matteo. They both have a kind of charm that is hard to resist.
The climax of the book is mediocre. It’s not great but it does bring a conclusive end to the story of Imogen, Anna and Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop.