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


Format: ARC Binding
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Published: 29th April 2016
Pages: 293 Pages

The Blurb
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.

But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.

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…

The Review
If someone asked you how comfort food made you feel, what would you say? I’d probably suggest that eating your most favourite food would make you feel satisfied, content and happy. Well, that’s exactly how Summer at the Comfort Food Café made me feel, I felt full of love and happiness – it’s definitely a feel-good read.

Laura and her family experience a sad loss, Laura’s husband and Lizzie & Nate’s father, David, passes away. It’s a shock to them all, but they take a sad situation and make it better (a play on The Beatles classic).

On a whim, Laura applies, using an emotional letter designed as a CV, for a job at the Comfort Food Café, where cafe owner Cherie is after someone reliable and charming. Cherie immediately accepts Laura’s application where upon Laura and her family embark on a holiday adventure down South.

Well, what can I say? Summer at the Comfort Food Café filled me with love and made me smile in all the right places. The patrons of the cafe made Laura and her family feel welcome which made her fall in love with the seaside town. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but you will be subjected to a little sadness. Reading about Laura’s loss does make you cry because it must be incredibly hard for someone to deal with, especially when you’ve got to be strong for your children too.

The sadness and happy situations are balanced, so when she jumps into the world of the Cafe, she becomes happier with her independence and enjoys every part of a being a part of the community. She is a regular face to the customers and learns what each has and for what reasons, they each have their set menu items, and they grow to love her – as anyone would.

I loved hearing the stories of why each customer choose certain things off the menu, it’s amazing how much of a rountine people like to have. I’m the same, I think I’d end up having the same thing, again and again because I like it. Mine’s a bacon sandwich, please! Plus, the addition of Matt, the Vet, certainly puts a smile on Lizzie’s face – he’s perfect with their old hound and sends a flutter into Laura’s life.

I’m a big, big, fan of Debbie’s – especially after reading Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper, so Summer at the Comfort Cafe is another favourite!

I’d certainly recommend you taking the novel with you on holiday to devour when you’re sat on the beach, relaxing!

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Published by Clare

Book lover, tea drinker and sushi fiend!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Summer at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson

  1. Great review! A book that talks about one of my favorite thing : food? I can’t resist! It sounds like the story has a good balance between happy and sad moments, which reflects life perfectly. It does look like a great holiday read 🙂

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