One of my all-time favorite novels from Jenny Cogan, Little Beach Street Bakery makes an excellent reading choice for any book club.
It’s a story of how no matter what the circumstances are that brought you there, it’s never too late to completely transform your life.
Anyone who has ever gone through a major upheaval like a divorce, a business going under, or even just a big move will see a bit of themselves in our heroine, Polly.
Forced to find a new apartment after splitting with her long-time boyfriend and business partner when their business fails, Polly stumbles upon the sleepy and remote Cornish town of Polbearne.
Living above an abandoned bakery, she throws herself into becoming a baker and finds a passion and fulfillment she never expected.
Add in a handsome local sea captain and a dashing American beekeeper also looking to reinvent themselves, and Polly is quickly living a life very different.
The story is incredibly comforting in the way it highlights that sometimes the things you never planned for turn out to be better than you ever imagined. As with most Jenny Colgan novels, it’s funny, well written, and will likely call to you to read it more than once.
Reading this novel for your book club, who knows? You might just learn more about the secret passions of your fellow readers than ever before.
If you do decide to pick up this fantastic novel for discussion, here are some Little Beach Street Bakery book club questions to get the conversation started.
Little Beach Street Bakery Book Club Questions
1. Polly has to deal with the aftermath of separating her life from her business partner and boyfriend when their graphic design business fails.
How does Colgan’s emotional depiction of the pain of that detangling compare with similar situations you might have felt (even if on a smaller scale)?
Do you agree that the pain and logistics of decoupling can almost be worse than the initial blow?
2. Polbearne is a very remote Cornish town where you can’t even reach by car at certain times of the day when the roadway is covered by the tides.
Have you ever visited a similar place? What were your impressions of living life so remotely?
3. If you had to completely reinvent yourself like Polly did and start over, what would your alternate self do? How would you live?
4. The book contains recipes and goes pretty heavily into detail when it comes to Polly’s baking. What role do you think food plays in the story?
5. One way Polly finds joy in her life is through Neil the puffin.
What do you think it is about animals that can get us outside of our problems? Have they ever done the same for you?
6. Jenny Colgan’s books tend to all have an element of escapism in them, where the heroine has just undergone a major upheaval in their life and they now need to find a new way to live.
As a device, do you think this works for her books?
7. What do see as the biggest mistake Polly made in her old life that led her here? What is the biggest mistake she makes in her new life?
8. The romance between Polly and Huck has a fairly slow build. Why do you think it takes them so long to see each other in that light?
9. There are a lot of vivid supporting characters in the book. Who is your favorite? Least favorite?
10. There are three more books after this one. Did Little Beach Street Bakery invest you enough in the characters’ lives to make you want to read more of them? What about other books by Jenny Colgan?
More Books by Jenny Colgan
Looking for your next Jenny Colgan read? Check out this review of an early work of hers, Where Have All the Boys Gone.
Better yet, add it for discussion with your reading group using the book club questions!
Don’t have a book club yet? Why not start your own! Check out my article on How to Form a Book Club for tips on creating the ideal club for your lifestyle.
Did you read Little Beach Street Bakery for your book club? What did you think? Leave me a comment below about how the questions and book worked for you!