BOOK REVIEW: Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee's by Jane Lacey-Crane

Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee's
By Jane Lacey-Crane
Publication Date: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Edition: Kindle (Buy Here)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome to Rosie Lee's cafe in the heart of the East End - where there's not an avocado, slice of sour dough or double-shot no-foam soy milk caramel latte on the menu!
Rosie-Lee's owner Abby is a woman without a plan....and her beloved little cafe is business with a serious lack of customers. The Rosie Lee's fry-up is legendary, but cooked breakfasts alone - however perfectly sizzled the bacon - aren't going to pay the bills.  
Fast approaching forty and fighting a serious case of empty nest syndrome, Abby realises its not just her menu that needs a makeover. And when Jack Chance, her The One That got Away, saunters through the cafe doors and back into her life things definitely look set to change...

Abby has always believed a cup of strong builders tea makes everything better, but Jack's reappearance is a complication even the trusty sausage sarnie can't resolve...

Where to begin? Well, the dying cafe business wasn’t really the focal point rather than the title and synopsis suggests. Instead, it was about family, first love and overcoming the past.

Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? It was a really unexpected read. The story went deeper than the cheesy title. Which was great, proving yet again that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Abigail Cowan was a thirty-something woman who lived all her life in the same place in London. She was knocked up really young, her family has kept her father’s whereabouts a secret for the last twenty years, and the cafe she inherited was lacking what it needed to survive—customers. So when her first love, Jack, came back from the States to do business, the missing spark in her life finally ignites. 

Now I know, it sounds like the typical The One That Got Away story, but what I loved about this book was that it was more than that. It was about family. Abigail's family was not perfect. They've kept secrets, they've neglected, but they still fight to keep all of them together despite everything. Which is what family is all about. This book perfectly portrayed that image and message to the readers.

But this is hard for me to say; I loved all the secondary characters and their relationship rather than our protagonist—Abigail. She came off as really whiny for a mature woman. I found her emotionally dependent to others, especially to her daughter, Lucy, who was going away for college. 

She kept saying that she is not a teenager anymore, and shouldn’t be fooling around with Jack, yet she can’t handle just being straight and honest with him like the mature adult she supposedly is. She was pushing him away for about a third of the book and it got really annoying. 

What drove me to finish was the plot itself. The secrets were really intriguing but I didn’t really expect to have that much lies in one household, especially when their ultimate goal was to protect

Anyway, I guess this book will stay neutral for me, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. In the end, it all worked out for the characters and the story so cheers to that!

1 comment

  1. I have experienced the 'loving the secondary characters more than the protagonist' a time or two myself. This definitely sounds like an interesting read!