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Review by Suze
Nell thinks her sons are old enough to move out. She's done caring for them and paying for their evenings out. She's inherited a house in England and wants to leave Australia to finally have her own life. When she arrives at Peppercorn Street she's shocked by the state of her house, but fortunately Angus, a kind neighbor helps her whenever he can. She also meets Winifred, an old lady who's trying to live her life to the fullest. Winifred and Janey, a teenage mother with an adorable baby named Millie, are good friends and they spend a lot of time together. They make Nell feel at home straight away.
Nell is happier than she's ever been, but the people around her aren't so lucky. Angus is being treated unfairly by a police officer just because he has a title, someone wants to force Winifred to sell her home and Janey is being stalked. An aggressive property developer wants to buy Nell's house, but is she willing to sell the place or is she thinking about it as a result of being pressured? Will Nell find more than friendship in her new surroundings and has life indeed given her a second chance?
Cinnamon Gardens is a wonderful story. Nell is a strong and determined woman. She's kind, but she also stands up for herself. Her sons are quite spoiled, but she's done with their behavior and tells them it's time they start taking care of themselves. I loved the way she handles the situation and reading about her courage to move to a completely different country and start over put a big smile on my face. Angus is a kind man and he makes sure she feels welcome. I immediately loved their honest and meaningful connection. They are incredibly sweet together and I really enjoyed reading about their relationship.
Winifred is a fabulous person. She's kind to others, she bakes delicious cakes and she's independent. I loved the beautiful friendship she has with Janey. Janey is taking care of Millie on her own and she doesn't have many friends or supportive relatives, but she's capable and is working hard to give Millie a good start in life. Janey is kindhearted and Millie is a very cute baby. Janey does everything she can to keep her daughter safe and I loved her responsible behavior and perseverance. She never gives up and has a lovely positive attitude. I also liked the precious bond she and Winifred have together a lot. It's a heartwarming unusual friendship.
Cinnamon Gardens is part of a gorgeous setting. I loved reading about Peppercorn Street again. The neighbors are all nice to each other and genuinely interested in one another and their warmth gives the story a charming atmosphere. Anna Jacobs is a skilled storyteller with a delightful style that makes her books feel special from beginning to end. Reading her books feels like unwrapping an amazing gift and I highly recommend all of them. Cinnamon Gardens is a fantastic story, a book I could read again and again.
Cinnamon Gardens is the second Peppercorn Street book. It can be read as a standalone, but as Janey and Winifred are already part of the first book in the series I'd advise you to start with that. The books are perfect for readers who like heartwarming stories about people with beautiful personalities.