Hello, my festive little sunshine! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this utterly charming book; Hanukka At The Great Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson. This book is really too cute for words, I can’t wait to share it with you. So, grab your cuppa and preferably some Ice Cream and enjoy!
Hanukkah days, Christmas nights and strawberry ice cream …
Cohen Ford is a man who could do with a little bit of sweetening up. It’s no surprise that when he walks into The Great Greenwich Ice Creamery on a typically gloomy London day before Christmas, he insists on a black coffee rather than his childhood favourite – strawberry ice cream.
But then he meets River de Luca, the woman behind the flavours. After their first encounter, Cohen begins visiting the ice creamery every Tuesday, gradually learning more about the intriguing River. Could her influence encourage cynical Cohen to become the man who embraces Christmas, Hanukkah and even strawberry ice cream?
This is a charming seasonal love story, with a really unique romance, between a grouchy Jewish New Yorker, trying his hardest to avoid Hanukkah with family and a deaf woman who creates ice cream flavours. This is the first Hanukkah set romance I have read – in fact, delete that, this is the first Hanukkah romance I have seen and I thoroughly enjoyed it, there definitely needs to be more stories like this in the world, I applaud Choc Lit and Sharon Ibbotson for giving this enchanting stories wings.
After a particularly nasty divorce, New Yorker; Cohen Ford takes a trip to London where he is tasked by his mother to deliver a gift to an old family friend. He isn’t looking forward to walking into the Ice Creamery as he fears childhood memories to re-awaken. He isn’t in any mood for ice cream, much preferring black coffee, but feels that he should do one thing for his mother after all their relationship is already fractured enough to put more strain on it by him disobeying.
But that all changes, his selfish and slightly withdrawn nature soon disappear when he meets the daughter of his mothers best friend; River De Luca, the captivating deaf woman who creates the most alluring ice creams. His attraction to her is instant, the moment he sets his eyes on her, he is struck by cupids arrow but fate and her mother seems to be against their relationship and he is soon warned off her, but does he take heed? Not on your nelly! I love the whole process of Cohen getting to know River, even though she is deaf and doesn’t speak, except in sign. The little ways she teaches him to communicate with her is so lovely, theirs is an extremely sweet budding romance, I love how he learns more about himself and how to move past his fracture relationship with his mother just by being with River.
Cohen doesn’t have the best relationship with his mother, in fac,t I don’t he really ever has had a great relationship with anyone, he has been known to be incredibly selfish and lost in his own world of pity, self destruct and obviously work. I do think that growing up in a turbulent household with parents who constantly screamed at one and other, then for his father to just up and leave has had a huge impact on Cohen and has moulded him into the man he is, some of it good and some bad. He is a man who has allowed his past and seeing his parents volatile relationship dictate how he leads his own life, which unfortunately did entail in his going down the; ‘oh, pity me’ and selfish path.
This is written entirely through Cohen’s point of view, which I thought was a refreshing change, true that does mean we don’t get a real insight into River’s thoughts except, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have an insight into her. I love how she says so much with not a single word, with her little touches, her patience in teaching him sign and their little written messages, I love how without a single word she seems to sense what is going on and what he needs, even if that is a tub of ice cream.
I really liked this! I love how Cohen goes from a melancholic grump who is a little immature, to a sensitive and loving man who has thrown himself into rebuilding his if, his relationship with his mother and learning about River, I really, really liked that turnaround with him.
The is the perfect seasonal cosy and feel-good story, it’s beautifully written and full of festive cheer – plus some delicious ice cream, honestly I am in pure heaven!
This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz! xx