I was lucky enough to be sent my copy of this fabulous book by my friend Hannah of Hannah Reads Stuff. (Thanks again, Han!)
I have been in a cycle of devouring thrillers and crime novels for the past four weeks and must admit that I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave it.
However, Campari was sitting by my bed with its gorgeously bold cover and Hannah had said it was good so I knew it would be worth pressing pause on the adventures of Kay Scarpetta for a while, to explore another, more lighthearted, story.
Campari for Breakfast is amazing. Much like Where’d You Go Bernadette, I feel as though the caliber of characters, humorous writing and plucky, likable heroine all lend it potential to become a modern classic. Sue Bowl is seventeen and never been kissed, though she thinks about what it will be like and who it will be with a lot.
Sue has recently lost her mother and cannot get over the fact that her father has moved on with horrible Ivana, who has a penchant for car slippers but does not even wear them in the correct context.
This in mind she flees to live with her Aunt Coral in her ancestral home, Green Place, a sprawling yet crumbling mansion in the country. Here she gets to know her eccentric Aunt and her fellow housemates very well and uncovers a family secret or two along the way. Throw in first love, first kisses and first heartache and you have all the ingredients of a really fantastic story.
As Hannah says in her review, it’s hard to leave Green Place once you have devoured the final page of this lovely book. The bevy of strange characters, including the ‘villians’ are so vivid and so joyful that you sometimes feel part of the group, sitting sandwiched somewhere between one of the Admirals and a Nana (you’ll see).
I don’t want to say too much, as always with my reviews, as my habit of giving too much away is a bad one but this wonderful book and Sue touched me deeply. Not only is Would Be Writer Sue getting to grips with love and caring for her frivolous Aunt and her surroundings at the same time, she is also mourning her mother. The What Ifs and the Whys echo round the West Wing of Green Place and then the East like tiny spectres.
All you want for Sue are the answers she so desperately needs.
I cried, I laughed and I genuinely wanted a lot more of Sue and her friends. I hope there’s a sequel but failing that I will just have to pick up everything that Sara Crowe writes from now on because this book is the nuts.
- Campari for Breakfast
- Publisher: Doubleday (10 April 2014)
- ISBN-10: 0857522159
- ISBN-13: 978-0857522153
- Gifted hardback