Wednesday 13 September 2023

Guest Review: Christmas at the Cat Cafe by Jessica Redland

It's the most wonderful time of the year on Castle Street, and there's a paw-some new business opening....

It had always been Tabby's dream to work with cats and an inheritance from her beloved nanna has finally made that a reality. Idyllic Castle Street in Whitsborough Bay couldn’t be a better place for pastry chef Tabby to open a cat café with her boyfriend, Leon.

But when Leon leaves her in the lurch, the pressure mounts for Tabby. With Christmas fast approaching, she has to open the café on her own – a daunting prospect, especially when she's been hiding her health issues from the ones she loves.

Faced with local resistance to the café – and somebody seemingly determined that she won’t succeed – Tabby will need her friends, family and cats more than ever to recover her broken Christmas spirit and pull together for a Christmas miracle.

Will the cat café bring the festive joy to Castle Street as Tabby had hoped or will it be a cat-astrophe? And can the magic of Christmas on Castle Street mend Tabby's broken heart as well as her business?

Review: Like many of Jessica Redland’s earlier books, this story is set in the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay. I always enjoy meeting up with familiar characters in a book, and this one has many of those. The story returns to the town’s Castle Street with its independent shops selling all manner of goods, the owners forming a friendly community. The book is set in the run-up to Christmas, when the street is decorated with twinkling lights and marvellous window displays. This is where the Cat Cafe of the title is to be established by the story’s heroine. Having an allergy to cats, I have never visited a cat cafe, so I was interested to read about how they work, knowing that Jessica Redland would have done her research well as always. 

The central character in this story is pastry chef Tabby, a young lady with a great love of cats, as evidenced by the 16 she currently has living with her. An inheritance has allowed her to buy a property on Castle Street in Whitsborough Bay where she can realise her dream of opening a cat cafe. The building has retail space and a flat above, where she intends to live with her boyfriend who will help her run the cafe. Unbeknown to her family, Tabby suffers from a health issue which, due to its nature, would make it almost impossible for her to run the business without help. When her boyfriend backs out of the venture and the relationship, Tabby is warmed to find that family and friends step up to help. In the face of many obstacles along the way, and with particular support from good friend Tom, can Tabby make her dream come true and have the business up and running in time for Christmas?

This book is going to be a popular purchase for cat lovers, who I’m sure would love to find it in their stockings this Christmas. I found it really interesting to read about the trials and tribulations associated with opening the cat cafe. It was heartening to witness again the sense of community in Whitsborough Bay as people rallied around to help Tabby when she was struggling. The author has dealt sensitively with a difficult subject regarding Tabby’s health condition; I certainly learned a lot about the effect it has on sufferers. I loved the determination in Tabby to forge ahead in the face of all obstacles and also the growing realisation of the true friend, and perhaps more, that she had in Tom. I found it heart-warming that he was willing to put his life on hold to help her. I’m not sure if we will meet Tabby and Tom again in future books from this author, but I would like to find out how their lives progress.

To order your copy now, just click here!

No comments:

Post a Comment