When I first read Abby Clements, novel Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop I wanted a prequel or a sequel and it seems by wish has been granted. I am back with sisters Anna and Imogen.
Anna and Matteo have been running the Ice Cream shop on Brighton seafront for over a year now and they are making a success of it. But new challenges are always out there and whilst Anna is content to be in a place she loves with her family close by, she knows that Matteo is missing his home country, Italy.
Imogen leaves the running of the Ice Cream shop to her sister, she helps now and again, especially with her gorgeous niece Bella. Imogen has never been interested in putting roots down anywhere, she is happy flying round the world and capturing images as a photographer. She always comes back but she is soon itching to again. Fate is seen to take an intervening hand, and she finds herself stuck.
It seems the sisters roles have swapped and Anna is off to Italy to set up the ice cream shop of the title. However what she does not bank on is the overbearing mother in law who was always far enough away when they were in Brighton but is now too close for comfort. Will the shop survive, with Anna’s methods of ice cream making and views on how a marriage should be.
Imogen is stuck back in Brighton, she has some photography work but it is not using the skills she was using before. Her reluctance to settle has driven away Fin and trying to deal with all of this she discovers a secret that their Grandmother Vivien did not tell them. It all seems to relate to the place where her sister has set up her new home.
This is a delightful read, it builds on all the characters from the first novel and takes them further in their journey and we are allowed to see them as they deal with many emotions and problems.
Of course there are still all the descriptions of ice creams and the wonderful Italian scenery to take in and I felt I was taken on a wonderful holiday and sampled some delicious ice cream without leaving my home.
Dare I say I hope there is more stories about the Ice Cream shop, both the one in Brighton and the one in Italy.
An excellent summer or holiday read.
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me to read this novel.
The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop is out now in all formats.