I woke up and made a cup of tea. White and elderflower. It’s an absolute favourite. I bought it at a wonderful tea shop the first time I visited the lively city of Münster. Back upstairs, in my bedroom that my family now calls an office because my desk is almost as long as my bed and almost every surface is covered in books, I sat down and reached for a bag of Haribo’s Smurfs. It seemed fair, you know, to have my favourite candy after a cup of my favourite tea before sitting down to write about some of my favourite books.
If we were to come up with a basic recipe for writing a novel, perhaps its success would rest upon its confection and the source of the ingredients chosen by the writer.
Vanessa Greene has found the recipe. Her bouquet of flavours isn’t translated in gourmet dishes one is afraid to touch (not that there’s anything wrong with those). Instead, it feels as if she has found our mother’s secret ingredient that makes everything taste of home. No matter where you are, where you are going, there’s a certain safety that, instead of keeping you back in comfort, holds your hand while you take your next step.
The ingredients change, though – or perhaps just the seasoning. Each novel feels like a step forward. The horizon widens as you go from The Vintage Teacup Club, her debut novel, through The Seafront Tea Rooms to The Beachside Guest House. It feels as if you are growing with them, even if the characters change. And speaking of them…
Vanessa Greene’s characters leave you half expecting to find their names on your phone’s address book once you reach the last page of the book.
I love how real, how credible, these characters are. Sometimes you can feel when an author is trying to drown you in romance so that you miss a few details here and there, but these voices are so honest, so you and me and everyone else. It’s truly hard to watch them go, to see them fade into black…
Vanessa Greene always takes the reader to such beautiful places. And there’s always as much love, friendship and hope as there is tea. What else could one ask for?
Reading Vanessa Greene is like going on a perfect holiday from where you return revitalized. It’s an escape that will certainly feel too short but utterly fulfilling. And the souvenirs you bring back… they smell of hope, taste of second chances, and last forever.
A cup of hope with friendship on the side, please. The courage you will find in yourself.
Vanessa Greene’s books are best friends. They won’t look down at you from above. Instead, they will look you in the eye, offer you a hand and suggest, “Come take a walk with me.” And said walk becomes one of those that starts early in the morning and ends up involving lunch, ice-cream, tea, dinner, and a dance.
Starting a novel by Vanessa Greene feels like running into an old friend that was away for years and yet seems to never have left. Amongst tears, laughs, cake, tea, heartbreak, passion, secrets, lies, love… it’s a friendship for the ups and downs, for the heavy truths and the white lies.