Monday, 16 May 2016

Review of Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

The bit on the back…

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.

Her new job at the cafe, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.
For her, the Comfort Food Cafe doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

Firstly thank you to Harper Impulse for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. This has firmly planted Debbie on my list of go to authors because I LOVED this book.

The story is all about main character Laura. Laura takes a chance and applies for a summer job in a café in Dorset. The seemingly random act makes complete sense the more you get to know Laura and her family’s story. What’s clear throughout the book is how much Laura loves her two children and how much she wants to do right by them. Everything she does is for them and their summer spent in Dorset is just what they all need together - a break away from the heartache of their life and a chance to live freely for a few weeks.

Laura’s new boss Cherie sees something in her that will make her a perfect addition to the alternative café. I loved the idea that Cherie not only serves the tourists during the season but that she caters for each resident on a highly individual basis. She knows each one inside out and in turn Laura learns to cater for them too, giving her something else to focus on.

The other characters make this book what it is just as much as Laura’s own story. Their friendship is what keeps the community together and Laura, Nate and Lizzie are welcomed into the fold without hesitation. Just as Laura looks after the customers they all in turn look out for Laura, Nate and Lizzie.

The story is an emotional one so you will definitely need your tissues. Debbie handles the ups and downs with care and respect and it speaks highly of her, and not just as an author. From the very beginning I wanted a happy ending for Laura because life had dealt her an unfair hand. Life is fragile and this story is a about grabbing it with both hands and making the most of it with your family and friends surrounding you. If you’ve not read this then what are you waiting for?! Fans of Paige Toon will enjoy this beautiful story.

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