little beach street bakery

why i wanted to read it: because i liked the title.

what i liked: “this is how it is,” came the voice from beside her. mrs. manse didn’t sound her usual snappy, angry self. she sounded resigned, sad, serious. “this is how it is. we stand and we wait. we women. this is what we do.”

polly looked at her.

“does it help?”

mrs. manse shrugged. “it doesn’t bring them back.”

polly nodded. “but you think it might?”

mrs. manse was silent for a long time. the lighthouse beam swung around again. finally she spoke. 

“i don’t know what else to do,” she said.

polly bit her lip. 

“i always thought,” said mrs. manse quietly, “that if i don’t come one night, that will be the night he comes home… with the very last of his strength, only just enough to climb the harbor wall… and if i’m not here to help him, he won’t make it.”

polly understood that completely.

mrs. manse turned suddenly, her large body stoic and unmoving in the wind. 

“please,” she said, in more urgent tones. “please go home. don’t get like me.”

“but i need to wait for them,” said polly.

mrs. manse shook her head. “not like this”, she said with desperation in her voice. “please. not like this. don’t do this to yourself.”

polly pulled the blanket more tightly around her.

“i can’t think of anything else.”

“but wishing doesn’t do it,” said mrs. manse crossly. “don’t you see? wishing doesn’t do it.” she looked polly straight in the face. “please,” she said, imploring her now. “please go home… don’t. don’t be like me… go. while you still can.”

“i can’t leave you out here.”

“you have to,” said mrs. manse (pages 288-289).

“i have invited all his sexy rich friends. there must be someone who won’t move to another continent if you kiss them” (page 385).

what sucked: the names kerensa and huckle. seriously. what the fuck is up with this broad and her inability to name characters well? also, why in god’s name must she take four hundred twenty-one pages to tell a story? and why does she have to have such weak subplots? and why must the majority of her pages be so badly written? GAH.

having said that: she has neat ideas for stories but the execution is so totally lame. i felt the complete opposite about this one than i did the bookshop tale. that one, the majority of it bored the hell out of me but the ending was pretty good. this one didn’t bore me as much (but please understand i was still bored), and the ending was ridiculous shit.

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