The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop is the stand alone sequel to Abby Clements’ previous success, Vivian’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop. I’ve always been a fan of Abby’s work; they are easy, ‘slouch on the couch’ with a cup of tea (or on a sun bed if you’re lucky enough to be away this Summer!), reads that effortlessly pull you straight into the stunning scenes that she has created.
There are an array of lovely characters, which at first I found difficult to remember, but soon found that you feel amongst them as the author creatively weaves their stories through each chapter. You may find this much easier if you’ve read the previous book, but it doesn’t take long to discover who is who.
Anna, and her Italian-born boyfriend, Matteo are happily running an ice cream shop in Brighton, surrounded by Anna’s lovely and supportive family. They have everything they need and a life they love. Or so Anna believed. Matteo’s hankering for Italy sees them battling the decision of whether to begin a new life on the Amalfi coast, or stay in Brighton. Anna’s feelings are torn between the temptation for adventure or settling for the safety and comfort of the life she thought was perfect.
Anna’s sister, Imogen, is a travel photographer, who’s commitment fear erupts when she hears a rumour that her boyfriend is about to propose. Can she convince herself to stay in Brighton long enough to settle permanently with her boyfriend, Finn, or will her love of travel see her risk losing him and the life they had?
There are several other intriguing stories weaved in amongst the main plot, that will keep you guessing until the very end, but what comes across throughout the entire story, is the unbreakable bond between sisters and their families, and how their support aids the other in living the life they love.
One word of warning on this book. You may or may not want to stock up on some ice cream prior to reading this book, depending on your will power!