Breakfast Under a Cornish Sun
Remember the heyday of chick lit (still wishing they could find a better term for it) 10-15 years ago? The combination of comedy, often with a dash of romance, and deeper emotion could be hard to pull off, but when it worked, it was such fun. Breakfast Under a Cornish Sun is a romantic comedy written in that vein and while it gets off to a rough start, readers who persevere past the first chapter will find themselves swept into a charming story.
As I warned above, that first chapter is quite the slog. Our narrator, Kate Golightly, apparently has the attention span of a gnat and so the book opens with her treating readers to a disjointed spewing forth of everything that happens to pass through her brain at that moment. From this stream of consciousness we can glean that Kate needs a break, she’s obsessed with Poldark, and she needs to find herself a plus-one so that she can impress guests at the wedding of some girl who bullied her back in high school. And yes, this is all as eyeroll-inducing as it sounds. But it gets better – much better.
All of this ruminating leads to a trip for Kate and her boss/best friend Izzy to a resort in Cornwall. Even if Izzy isn’t quite on board with Kate’s quest for a Ross Poldark lookalike, she can certainly get into the idea of a holiday. And Kate really does need a getaway. She has lost her job and as we learn in the early chapters of the book, her serious boyfriend was killed in an accident and Kate has largely put her life on hold since it happened. The trip to Cornwall could be just the change she needs.
When Kate and Izzy arrive at their resort, they find it in the midst of a “transition period.” In fact, the family business has fallen on hard times and the owners are in dire straits. Even though service isn’t what Kate expected, she and Izzy feel oddly drawn to the place and its people and find themselves trying to help them turn the place around. Along the way, Kate continues her hunt for a Poldark twin and this leads her into both hilarious escapades and the discovery of someone at the resort who isn’t quite what he should be.
And eventually, Kate finds her way into quite the entanglement with Tremain Maddock, the son of the resort owner. At first, the two find themselves completely at odds, but as they work together, they move from uneasy understanding to a warm and promising friendship. Kate spends way too much time hung up on the fact that Tremain doesn’t fit the perfect Poldark image, but otherwise her adventures in Cornwall are endearing and sweet to read. The author has a good sense of humor, and I loved the banter between characters throughout the story. Even better, I enjoyed the fact that underneath all the fun and games, we got to see the lead characters grapple with some difficult issues and come out happily. That mixture of fun and depth made this book feel a bit more firmly anchored than some of the frothier comedies I’ve read.
Breakfast Under a Cornish Sun certainly has its over the top moments, but it’s mostly delightful fun. If you’re looking for a light summer read that has a little bit of something more to it, I definitely recommend this one. You’ll need to slog through that crazy first chapter, but after that, the fun begins.