Happy Book Birthday to The Ticklemore Toy Shop by Liz Davis! I hope you’ll join me in this Publication day celebration of this wonderful story.
The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop
You’re never too old to fall in love…
There is a disturbance in the force and octogenarian Hattie Jenkins can feel it in her water. Still active and spritely, she guesses that the miserable-looking gentleman sitting morosely in the café where she works, might be the reason.
Widowed Alfred Miller has recently moved in with his daughter because she is worried that he’s becoming too frail and forgetful to look after himself. And he’s not in the least bit happy about it, especially since his home is soon be cleared and sold.
But when he enlists Hattie’s help to save some of his precious belongings, he doesn’t realise that Hattie’s mission is to save more than a few sticks of furniture. She’s on a mission to save him, too.
Loved this touching, feel-good family story! It wasn’t what I had expected at all and all the better for it.
Achingly realistic, moving, thought-provoking, it was also entertaining and optimistic.
Eighty year old Hattie Jenkins might be considered quite eccentric by the inhabitants of Ticklemore, a little viiilage with the butcher, baker, candlemaker, and three cafes to provide numerous tourists with their cakes and tea. Luckily for her, Hattie has a job- she is a waitress in Bookylicious, a bookshop/cafe, and this is where she meets Alfred (don’t call him Alfie, he does mind this childish equivalent of his name, although people have recently taken to calling him this, as if the elderly don’t have any right to their full names). Hattie knows in her heart there is something wrong about this old gentleman, some kind of loneliness or sadness emanating from him. He is a bit grumpy as well, or rather not used to people taking interest in him. Alfred lost his beloved wife Dorothy to cancer two years ago and now his well-intentioned, but slightly overbearing daughter Sara decided he should move in with her, and it isn’t working out very well for both of them. Alfred realises his behaviour and the way he talks to Sara resembles more a rebellious teenager than a loving parent, but he would like her to trust him a bit more, and, above all, he would like to feel useful. For years Alfred has been making wooden toys in his garden shed/secret workshop. Unimpressed Sara wants to get rid of all the old furniture, clothes and various objects Dorothy and Alfred had lovingly chosen and acquired over the course of their long and happy life together.
When Alfred asks Hattie to help him find a storage unit in a vain attempt to save something from his old life, Hattie is happy to oblige, and when she sees his wonderful collection of hand-made, carved of wood toys, she knows these toys can’t be just thrown away, they need to find a way to children’s homes and children’s hearts. Hattie might not be as young as she used to be, but when she sets her heart on doing something, she is absolutely unstoppable. Her friend Nell suggests that there might be enough toys in Alfred’s collection to open a toy shop, and once the idea is planted in Hettie’s mind…all she needs is a bit of support from her community.
This book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions- it was full of fun scenes (just wait till you read about Hattie’s fashion choices) and loving details that just broke my heart (Dorothy’s apron still hanging from the kitchen chair). Above all, it made me think about different life stages and how we all need to feel capable, independent, loved, and appreciated. We do need more diverse protagonists in our reads and this book does a great job of showing how whether you are young, middle-aged, or elderly, we all need each other and have a lot to learn from one another.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough- I hope you pick it, get yourself a cuppa (of whatever hot beverage tickles your fancy), get immersed in the lives of Hettie, Alfred and other inhabitants of Ticklemore and get another proof that life is wonderful at any age.
Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this publication day celebration and, of course, to Liz Davies for her fabulous book.
About the author
Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.
Thank you for stopping by and reading the post. Have a wonderful Sunday!