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Book Review: The Little Cafe in Copenhagen

Plot:

Welcome to the little cafe in Copenhagen where the smell of cinnamon fills the air and the hot chocolate is as smooth as silk.

Publicist Kate Sinclair’s life in London is everything she thought she wanted: success, glamour and a charming boyfriend. Until that boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a much sought-after promotion from her.Heartbroken and questioning everything, Kate needs to escape.

Leaving behind rush hour and late nights in the office for a city break in beautiful Copenhagen, Kate discovers how to live life ‘the Danish way’. From candles and cosy nights in to the easy smiles of tall, gorgeous Vikings and eating your body weight in pastries (ok, that’s just her), the city offers her a new perspective.

Can the secrets of hygge and happiness lead her to her own happily-ever-after?

Review originally written in December 2018:

I found this cute book in a charity shop at the start of summer, how has it taken me this long to finally be in the mood to read it?!

This novel is so heart-warming and funny. If you do not know what Hygge (hoo-ga pronunciation apparently) is then be sure you will learn a lot about Danish life and how Hygge is an important aspect of Denmark’s culture!

Hygge to sum up encourages you to drink tea, eat chocolate, make pastries, cosy up next to a fire with a good book with lots of lamps and light type of lights, and cosy throws. 

This novel is about a London based publicist – Kate Sinclair, who is career focused and missed out on a promotion due to her at-the-time boyfriend took from under her. In order to prove herself, she is tasked with the assignment of taking five unruly journalists to Denmark to promote the opening of a new store and experience the world of Hygge. 

All of the characters are well rounded. Caplin shows us the difficulties the characters are going through even though they put on a front, and a solution with friendship being a big part of it. 

The reason this novel lost a star – being a bit repetitive and exhausting with the sight-seeing commentary; the constant historical references which made it seem I am reading a travel novel rather than a fictional story. As well as at times I felt like shaking Kate at the beginning of the novel in times with reference to Josh her ex. 

However, with that being said, there is plenty of humour and romance to keep the story entertaining. Caplin’s warm and gentle writing style makes it easy for an enjoyable read.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Hygge and Kisses

Plot:

Bo, 26, has always been careful, cautious. However, she has just been made redundant and her life plan is beginning to unravel. Before she starts immediately applying for other jobs in a panic, her friend Kirsten persuades her to take a holiday, to visit Kirsten’s mother’s house in Aalborg, North Jutland, a part of Denmark Bo is ashamed to admit she has never heard of.

‘What’s the weather going to be like?’ she asks Kirsten hopefully, scrolling her cursor over the budget airlines webpage. ‘Terrible,’ Kirsten replies, ‘London is positively Mediterranean by comparison, and of course it’s November so it’ll be dark seventeen hours a day. But no one goes to Denmark to get a tan. You need a change of scene and to blow away the cobwebs, and trust me, Skagen will do that. Besides, the summerhouse is cosy whatever the weather, and you never know who else will be around.’

Review:

My second Hygge novel! I am coming to appreciate what a great concept it is, and the sections of this novel set in Denmark really brought home that feeling to me. So cosy.

Bo reckons she is heading for a life crisis, as she is working in a job she no longer enjoys and has a secret relationship with Ben. (I really wanted to shake her when it came to him) When she loses her job, her flatmate and friend Kirsten convinces Bo, to go to Denmark and stay in her mothers summerhouse in Aalborg, Denmark.

Bo had never been to Denmark before, nor travelled alone, she is apprehensive at sharing the summerhouse  with complete strangers as events changed for Kirsten, what I loved is how her life changed for the better since she landed in Denmark and how she grew as a person. Like myself I appreciate when books focus on a character growing as a person – instead of being stuck in a small town or job that is not real happiness. I appreciate that Bo learned what real happiness is, elsewhere, in a better environment with real, genuine good people.

I loved the descriptions of Alborg and the summerhouse and found the book really picked up interest in part 2. The first half of the novel could have been a bit faster, also was there any need for the relationship with Ben? She is naive when it comes to him, any woman demeaning themselves in that type of relationship deserves it as they are asking for no respect ‘oh please treat me poorly, please cheat on me, please kiss, flirt, relations with other girls and cheat on me as long as you stay with me!’  Also! The Danish food in both Hygge novels I have read so far sounds so delicious and the new friendships being formed were good to see too. I really enjoyed the parts where they are trying to do everything Hygge with playing games and making food together and spending time doing that more than the actual output because as with everything in life it is about the journey, if the journey is successful, paced, not rushed then it is much better than the output.

It relates to life, why would you rush to ending (getting married, children) so fast when you are so young for example. Why ? Unless you have religion values of you have to get married if you have children for those that believe in that aspect. Why rush everything when you are young – unless you are that desperate. Life is about the journey it is not about rushing to the final stages of life. How have you ever lived if you do that? Life is for the living, live your life to the fullest and enjoy every millisecond of it. That is what life is about!  

Anyhow! I found this to be a surprisingly easy book to read. The pages appeared to turn and although it was moderately paced I found the book fit in well with the concept of Hygge, it was compact and cosy, and there were plenty of small pleasures to be gained from the reading of the story. 

Although as I wrote earlier, the first part of the story is too long, too moany, and just doesn’t structure together properly. For example, chapter 3 deals with a Friday night out with Ben. Chapter 4 starts ‘Bo was woken the following morning…’, which I read as being Saturday. She spends the day shopping and baking Brownies. Chapter 5, however, starts ‘On her journey into work the following morning…’ It’s only a little thing, but it’s not the only time that the author seems to get her timing wrong. I found it jarring and irritating….certainly not hygge!

It was a good ‘curl up’ book for a lazy afternoon. The Danish scenes were lovely, and sent me straight to the Internet to find out more again as always. Denmark is definitely going on to my ‘wish list’ for the future.

I wish this novel was quicker at the start, there was no need for some characters to be in it. I found myself to take a few days reading this in-between my schedule. It was a great read when you are looking for cosy reads with a delicious cup of tea however overall there wasn’t enough substance to the story for my liking. I recommend to pick up this cosy novel especially for the Denmark scenes! 3/5 stars