Saturday, 24 October 2015

Book Review - The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse

Amazon UK
Title: The Christmas Cafe
Author: Amanda Prowse
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 22nd October 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Bea does not believe in second chances.

A widow at fifty-three, Bea knows she must accept that she will be alone forever. She buries her grief in hard work, and soon the deli she runs in Surry Hills has a reputation for the best carrot cake in Sydney.

But then an email from a cafe-owner in Edinburgh leads her to take a trip to Scotland in the depths of winter. There, transported by the twinkling lights and falling snow of a traditional Christmas, Bea is drawn back to a secret past - and a secret love - that she has long ago tried to forget...

The Christmas Cafe is a beautiful love story, of lost true love. I found it got off to a slightly slow start, possibly due to Bea's husband dieing, and the initial grief, but once it moved on a bit, I was entranced by the story, and just wanted to read more and more. 

One year later, Bea runs a cafe in Surry Hills, Sydney and puts all of herself into her work, after her husband Peter dies. Out of the blue she gets an approach from The Christmas Cafe in Edinburgh, suggesting she become part of a group of cafe owners all over the world, to share business tips. 

She starts emailing the owner of the The Christmas Cafe back and forth, and develops a e-pen friend.  At the same time, her son Wyatt, is having trouble with his daughter Flora. Flora is 13 and is a slightly troubled teen, who has fallen in with not the best crowd at school. Flora is determined to stay with Bea. 

On a whim, Bea and Flora decide to go to Edinburgh for the two weeks before Christmas, her Wyatt and his wife are off to Bali anyway. It is the full introduction of Flora into the story, and then the initial reactions of them in Edinburgh, Scotland that really made me fall a bit in love with this book. 

The descriptions of an Australian teenager experiencing a cold Scottish winter for the first time, complete with snow, and seeing it through her eyes was magical. 

There was another story going on throughout the book, which started off as a slow burner, Bea's memories, every now and then flaring up, and then as they get to Scotland, this becomes the main storyline and its a heart warmer. 

As always Amanda Prowse has written an enchanting story, that you never want to put down and that leaves you feeling quite emotional.  This is not a Christmas book in the sense, that its going to be a light hearted, jolly look at the time of year, as it has a lot more depth to it. That being said there are some very funny scenes, and it is not heavy going either. 

The Christmas Cafe has just the right amount of substance to it, to make it an enjoyable holiday read. 


  1. Another beautiful Christmas story. Loving this, Amanda! Thanks for sharing, Rachel. :) xx

    1. I do seem to have a small habit this year of finding beautiful Christmas stories!


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