Review: 'Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe' by Debbie Johnson (2016)
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.
I can’t believe how early I am actually posting this Christmas-themed book review, but let’s be honest… Is it ever too early for a lovely festive-themed read? I definitely won’t ever say no to a Debbie Johnson read, no matter the time of year or the topic it deals with; she has really become one of my favourite chick lit authors of the moment, so when I saw ‘Christmas at the Comfort Food Café’ available for review on NetGalley I couldn’t possibly click on it any quicker! The novella was released by HarperImpulse on September 23rd and is the sequel to Debbie’s previous novel ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Café’ (click here to read my review). So, if you are secretly already craving a bit of a Christmas treat, there’s no one stopping you from ordering this beauty right now…!
Becca is not a Christmas fan; she hates the lights, the sparkle, the general jolliness… Definitely not her favourite time of year. However, she’s decided to not spend the holiday season by herself this year but visit her sister Laura and her kids instead. Laura rebuilt her life after the unexpected death of her beloved husband David and the Comfort Food Café played a big role in that. Now it’s Becca’s turn to be charmed by the café, the locals and the beautiful surroundings. Will this be enough to defrost Becca’s heart after everything that has happened in the past or is even the magic of the Comfort Food Café not enough to fix things this time around…?
‘Christmas at the Comfort Food Café’ is the sequel to Debbie Johnson’s lovely novel ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Café’, which was released earlier this year. The novella is written from the point of view of Becca, the younger sister of Laura, who played the leading role in the first part of this series, and takes us back to the lovely setting of the Comfort Food Café near the beach. While I highly recommend reading the first book first (especially since it is just a fantastic read), this novella can definitely also be read as a stand-alone because enough background information is provided to understand what is going on and who the different characters are. I loved Becca; even though she is a bit of a Scrooge, I could understand her dislike for Christmas and just really warmed to her as a character.
I’m a big fan of Debbie Johnson’s writing and I have to say this novella was just as enjoyable as her other works. There are great characters, an entertaining storyline, a lot of emotions (one page made me laugh out loud while the other made me tear up a bit), and some definite romantic sparks. With roughly 190 pages it is also a rather quick read, and just the ideal novella to pick up when you’re looking for a bit of Christmas magic to get you in a festive mood but also for anyone looking for a great read, really. I can’t help but shout from the rooftops when it comes to my love for Debbie Johnson; please tell us there is more to come for the Comfort Food Café…!