One of the lovely things about working in a library was how many books you could stumble across by accident. Customers handing them back in, unpacking new books, tidying a display. I was worried, that having left, I wouldn't be able to enjoy those serendipitous discoveries any more.
Luckily for me, I still have some very good friends who work at the library, and know my taste, so they put books aside for me, or order them in, if they think I might like them. So when I get a note or call to say there is a book in, I never know if it is going to be something I have been waiting for, or a surprise.
When I popped in on Thursday, it was a mixture of both! The one that caught my eye immediately though, was one of the surprise books - The Vintage Tea Cup Club. It had a review by Trisha Ashley on the front, who is without a doubt one of my favourite authors, so it boded well.
It has a beautiful cover, and I am pleased to say that the inside lived up to the outside! Sadly it is a first novel, so there are no more to devour (but I hope she will write more!) but happily it is the kind of book that leaves you wanting to devour more.
It belongs in the category I think of as a Grown-Up-Enid-Blyton: a light easy read that draws you in, and has a happy ending. The only tiny thing I could pick at here is that it isn't really a tea cup club, but if that is the least I can find wrong, that has to be good!
The story opens at a car boot sale, and Jenny spots a beautiful vintage tea cup, and quickly realises it is part of a small tea set. At the same time, two other ladies spot it. Maggie and Alison and Jenny decide to share it - it will be used first at Jenny's wedding, then Maggie will use it for a wedding she is the florist for, and then Alison will turn them into tea cup candles. As the story unfolds, their friendship develops and we get to know more about their lives. There are no surprise endings, but sometimes, that is exactly what you want. Something to unfold happily and leave you warm inside.
Incidentally, I have been toying with ideas about my hair colour recently. I am naturally brunette, with red highlights, but have been colouring it the red of my highlights all over for about a year. I have been wavering as whether to continue to be red, and channel Joan Harris from Mad Men, or go chocolatey brunette. One of the characters in the story has red hair, and I loved the descriptions of some of her outfits, so I am going to stay red for now, and keep an eye out for some clothes to recreate some of her looks from the story!
One of the ladies in by book club was kind enough to give us each a special notebook designed for you to keep a list of books you want to read, books you have read, and books you have lent out. I am looking forward to filling that in over the coming year. I have been taking photographs of book shelves in Smiths by the train station, so I can order them from the library, and have saved a literary supplement from a newspaper in the week which had several titles which caught my eye. A whole year of reading ahead, what bliss!