Monday, 14 April 2014

Campari for Breakfast - Sara Crowe - Guest Review

I would like to thank my very good friend Sarah Hollands for guest reviewing this book for me. You can follow her @SarahHollands1


Life is full of terrible things. Ghosts of dead relatives, heartbreak . . . burnt toast.

In 1987, Sue Bowl's world changes for ever. Her mother dies, leaving her feeling like she's lost a vital part of herself. And then her father shacks up with an awful golddigger called Ivana.

But Sue's mother always told her to make the most of what she's got - and what she's got is a love of writing and some interesting relatives. So Sue moves to her Aunt Coral's crumbling ancestral home, Green Place, along with a growing bunch of oddballs and eccentrics. Not to mention the odd badger or two . . .

There she fully intends to write a book, fall in love, and learn to live decadently.


This is Sara Crowe’s debut novel and after reading Campari for Breakfast I will definitely be looking out for more of her books in the future. From the beginning I was gripped by the eccentricity of the characters and the unusual format it is written in. The story centres around Sue, a 17 year old girl who is dealing with life after her mother’s death. The story is told through Sue’s diary and her Aunt Coral’s commonplace book. A commonplace book is ‘not only a diary, but a scrap book and a book of wisdom. Essentially one’s own book of life.’ 

The story is set in 1987, after her mother’s death Sue moves to Egham to live with her Aunt Coral and finds out more about her family then she was expecting. Sue’s story is intertwined by Coral’s commonplace entries which date back to 1930 and give you an insight into Coral’s childhood and Sue’s mother, Buddlia’s life before her death. This book is full of twists and turns and is the opposite of predictable. 

The story is about death, love, hope, friendship and family. While living with Aunt Coral Sue pursues her dream of being a writer and also finds herself working at a local cafĂ© and helping to rescue her Aunt’s falling down mansion. Her Aunt is supportive of Sue’s dreams and sets up a writing group which helps sue find the inspiration she needs. Sue is also desperate to fall in love, amidst the sadness of losing her mother Sue finds hope, friendship and love from her family and new friends.

This heat warming story ends with all questions answered and Sue’s dreams realised, even if not in the way she’d thought. 

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