Book Review: Sunrise by the Sea (Little Beach Street Bakery #4) by Jenny Colgan

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Willian Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2021
Pages: 368, paperback
Source: NetGalley

New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan returns to the setting of her beloved Little Beach Street Bakery series for a timely and heartfelt novel set in a Cornish seaside village.

Marisa Rosso can’t understand why everyone else is getting on with their lives as she still struggles to get over the death of her beloved grandfather, back home in Italy. Everyone loses grandparents, right? Why is she taking it so badly?

Retreating further and further from normal life, she moves to the end of the earth—the remote tidal island of Mount Polbearne, at the foot of Cornwall, hoping for peace and solitude, whilst carrying on her job as a registrar, dealing with births, weddings, and deaths, even as she feels life is passing her by.

Unfortunately—or fortunately?—the solitude she craves proves elusive. Between her noisy Russian piano-teaching neighbor, the bustle and community spirit of the tiny village struggling back to life after the quarantine, and the pressing need to help save the local bakery, can Marisa find her joy again at the end of the world? 

Possible spoiler alert.

In Sunrise by the Sea, Marisa has come to Mount Polbearne after being kicked out of her flat by her roommate for being too depressed after the death of her beloved grandfather. Caius, her former roommate, is the nephew of Reuben, the multi-millionaire friend of Polly and Huckle’s who has been in the other Beach Street Bakery books. Marisa suffers from an anxiety disorder, which only gets worse when she arrives only to find her new next-door neighbor is a loud music teacher who plays day and night, allowing her no peace until she is forced to kinda/sorta confront him. Since he resembles a large bear, this understandably takes her some time.

Not much has changed on Mount Polbearne otherwise. Polly and Huckle, now with two children, are still struggling to make ends meet. Reuben and Kerensa are still rich, and unfortunately, Kerensa has become a bit oblivious to her friends’ problems, as well as a tad bit obnoxious about her wealth-by-marriage.

Marisa’s recovery from anxiety seems a bit too pat. Yes, she does seek counseling and there are steps she goes through, but from seeing friends and family struggle with social anxiety and depression, I felt her journey was just too linear. 

Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I read this book. It felt like the same components were used as in the other books, such as a huge storm that damages the island, Reuben swooping in to throw money at things and save the day, and Polly and Huckle never having any financial security, but with a couple new characters, with problems of their own thrown in to spice it up. It’s a good book, but I think I just wanted something…more, especially for Polly and Huckle. Also, there’s just not enough of Neil the Puffin. 

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