She had decided to wish for a happy, independent widowhood, for a life in which she could honour Peter's memory. But in a flash her dream resurfaced, and it was as if her subconscious made the wish for her: I want to see him, just once, to know he is happy. I want to know that he really did love me.
Bea Greenstock sits next to her husband's hospital bed, waiting for death. As midnight approaches, he passes away, and so almost ends thirty years of marriage.
Life must go on. Bea is fifty three and suddenly alone but she refuses to bow to a wave of depression and loneliness. To distract herself from grief, she throws herself into her work running the Reservoir Street Kitchen in one of Sydney's most fashionable districts. But then an email from a cafe owner in Edinburgh prompts her to take a trip to Scotland in the depths of Winter. Her journey will be one of self-discovery as she is drawn back to a secret past and a secret love- that she has tried to forget.
Set between Sydney and Edinburgh at Christmas, this is a is story of family ties, lost love, and the power of the past.
Publisher: Head of Zeus
The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse is my second festive read of the year and I very much enjoyed it.
The story revolves round Bea, she is 53 and we meet her at her most vulnerable as she is seen saying goodbye to her husband as he passes away after thirty years of marriage. Considering what she has gone through, Bea is very stoical and determined to keep busy running her business, The Reservoir Street Kitchen in Sydney. However, it is when she is not busy that reality hits, she is terribly lonely and uncertain of how she will cope in the future.
However, two things happen, Bea gets an unexpected house guest in the form of her granddaughter Flora and then she receives a letter from the owner of The Christmas Cafe in Scotland. All of a sudden Bea and Flora are off on a little adventure to the other side of the world where hopefully Bea will get some ideas as to what her future will hold.
I loved the two very different locations in this book; The Reservoir Street Kitchen and The Christmas Cafe are entirely different but they are both run by very dedicated women who just want to make their customers' day a little brighter.
My favourite part of the book was the relationship between Bea and Flora. They are both desperately in need of each other without even being aware of it. I think this is where Amanda Prowse's strengths lie; she creates characters that you quickly care deeply about so you are more than happy to invest your time and emotion in the book.
The Christmas Cafe is another excellent festive read, it makes you think about what really matters in life and Christmas is the perfect time to do that.
Many thanks to Midas PR for sending me a copy of this book to review.