Hello my lovelies,
I hope everyone is well, has had a great week and is enjoying the summer 🙂
I’m always nothing if not honest in my blog posts so I’ll start by openly saying this review is late. Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by the marvellous Debbie Johnson was supposed to be the second HarperImpulse book I read and reviewed for the #Summerimpulse Readathon, which ended last Sunday… But between two jam packed weekends and starting a brand new shiny HR job, I had little time to read.
However, just because #Summerimpulse is over, that doesn’t mean reading and reviewing another HI book isn’t valid, so I went ahead and finished it. Here’s what I thought.
This is a bloody brilliant book. End of. I could stop there but of course you might want a little more detail, so I won’t! In short, this is not just a romance, and it’s not just a ‘location’ book following a successful market trend (cafe / west country setting) and it’s not just a glorious summer read. It is all of those, but also much more.
Yes, it has a heartening romance at the centre of it (between Laura, our frazzled, slightly nuts but adorable heroine, and the gorgeous local vet Matt) and yes, it had an amazing backdrop in terms of beautiful Dorset, where I count myself very lucky to live and yes, it helped me enjoy the summer 🙂 But it also had a full cast of delightfully rounded characters, my favourites being Laura herself, Nate and Lizzie (Laura’s children, who are similar ages to my own kids and who were frighteningly true to life) and Jimbo (the ageing Labrador) all of who leapt off the page and drew me in. I also liked the premise of the book, with Laura transplanting her family from Manchester to Dorset for the summer for a change of scenery, a holiday and to get back into the working world again after losing her husband a few years previously. Laura initially thinks of her plan as crazy, as do her family, but slowly and surely the Dorset coast and the welcoming people start to work their magic…
Debbie also writes with a really engaging voice, capturing both the lighter and darker moments of life perfectly. I always know that when I read Debbie’s books I’m going to laugh out loud but at the same time be emotionally wrung out and taken on the journey with the main character. In that way, her writing reminds me of the fantastic JoJo Moyes.
However, for me the book worked best because it spoke to me in a touchingly honest and sensitive way. The core themes were about dealing with grief (candid but not depressing), appreciating the simple things in life such as friends and family, and learning to truly live again after a loss. They’re all themes that resonated with me after two recent bereavements, and while the book is a cracking good read, more importantly I felt Debbie had helped me see things in a different light… Which is why I was so glad that when I got to the very satisfying end of the book with all the threads knit together so well, I was left with a smile on my face, tears in my eyes and a genuine desire to read another Debbie Johnson book.
Have you read Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe? What did you think?
The book is available to buy across a number of formats and platforms including Amazon – for only 99p as an eBook here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Comfort-Food-Cafe-bestselling-ebook/dp/B015EXDQIA
I’m off abroad soon but am hoping to post about my holiday TBR pile, which I’m really excited about, before I go.
So until next then, Happy Reading and Writing.
Love, Nikki x