Book Review: Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Book Review: Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie JohnsonSummer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson
Series: Comfort Food Cafe #1
Published by HarperImpulse on June 16th 2016
Rating: four-half-stars
Pages: 352
Find on Goodreads
Also by this author: Pippa’s Cornish Dream, Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe

The brand new book from best-selling author Debbie Johnson will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you raid the pantry in the middle of the night…
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…
What readers are saying about Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe:
‘Heart-warming and optimistic, Summer at the Comfort Food Café is a genuinely gorgeous novel, a book of hope and solidarity, friendship and humour and the belief that everything might just turn out okay after all’ – Sophie, Reviewed the Book
‘Everything I hoped it would be and more’ – Becca’s Books
‘Fans of Paige Toon will enjoy this beautiful story’ – Erin’s Choice
‘If this book had arms it would grab you and pull you in to the most amazing book ever…just magical’ – Lisa Talks About
‘An engaging, entertaining and loveable book’ – Rae’s Reads
‘I wish I could actually go there…an original story and it has such a romantic ending’ – With Love for Books

I love Debbie Johnson for many reasons – she’s an amazing writer, she currently releases two books per year (I love any author automatically who releases two books per year, it’s just the BEST), and she makes me laugh. Although, this time around, with Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe she made me cry. I literally had to put the book down because I was crying so much, but that’s because it just reminded me so much of what I went through nearly three years ago, but if I think of it even now it still hurts and it all just came flooding back while I was reading the book. But, mostly, Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe was a wonderful read.

I say this a lot when I read books like this, but I just love books where there’s this amazing family-like feel to the book; Laura, Lizzie & Nate move from Manchester to Dorset and it’s like they’ve been in Dorset the whole time, that’s how friendly everyone is at the Comfort Food Cafe, most importantly Ms Cherie Moon. There’s this real family vibe to the book, almost like the cafe itself (or most likely Cherie) have some kind of magical powers that can heal people and some of the stories were just so lovely, they didn’t half pull at the old heart-strings. It’s just so warm, so comforting. And it made me think: what would my comfort food be? Like Frank with his burnt bacon butties and his strong tea, everyone had their own comfort foods they couldn’t be without, and mine would most likely be homemade Yorkshire puddings, though I would take the whole Sunday roast, if I could.

As always with books like Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe, I inevitably wanted to up and move there immediately. It just sounded so idyllic, so perfect, so peaceful. So beautiful. And it was nice to see the way everyone rallied around Laura, after she lost her husband, and how Laura just fitted in so easily, and especially her friendship with Matt. I was waiting and waiting for something to go wrong, and it was kind of nice that Laura had pretty much the perfect summer, as did her kids Lizzie and Nate, and Lizzie’s rather heart-felt gesture at the end there kind of broke my heart, but in the best way. And I can’t not talk about Jimbo the dog. It just made me smile to see him so involved, such a big part of the family.

This was such an amazing read, even if it devastated me for just a little while, with me reading with tears streaming down my face, willing them to stop. But apart from that intensely emotional bit, this was the perfect summer read (although I am SO glad I wasn’t reading this on a beach/plane/train/ANYWHERE the public can see you cry). I loved the cafe, I loved Cherie Moon and Laura, Lizzie, Nate and Matt. I love more than anything we’re going back there at Christmas, because it’s a place you feel like you can always go if you’re feeling down and you’ll leave feeling much, much happier.


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