Friday, 8 July 2016

Review: Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

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…

Review: Another masterpiece from Debbie Johnson! This is a really engaging story that I read in next to no time. It's really easy reading, full of Debbie's usual humour, but not lacking in depth of storyline. The book starts with the most amazing job application letter you could possibly imagine; that hooked me in immediately, as I'm sure it would most readers.

The main character is widower Laura Walker. She is an incredible woman, who has suffered a huge tragedy in her life, but is still brave enough to up sticks, pack the children and dog into the car and drive from Manchester to the Dorset coast to take up a summer job in the Comfort Food Cafe. The children, Lizzie, 14, and Nate, 12, are not fans of this idea and give her a hard time on the journey. The little seaside town where the cafe is set is fairly brimming with interesting, and sometimes hilarious, inhabitants, not least the owner of the establishment, Cherie Moon.  She has an amazing knack of knowing just what to serve her customers to make them happy, hence the name of the cafe. The cafe itself has a wonderful location, teetering on top of a hill that overlooks the beach. The other major character we meet is Matt, the somewhat dishy local vet. He is another incomer with a misfortune in his past.

Although the story is so funny it had me laughing out loud at times, Debbie is such a great writer that she could also have me sitting in tears, of sorrow or joy. There is a lot of humour in the situations that Laura and her family experience, but underneath it all is a story of people healing from a great shock, coming to life again and learning to let others back into their hearts. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone. If you are not familiar with Debbie Johnson's work, it would be a perfect place to start

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