Summer at the French Cafe

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A somewhat bittersweet look at love and abandonment, and the long and twisty road, perhaps unreachable after all, that one must follow to heal.

Katerina (Kat) is a thirty-seven year old former journalist, now Manager of a bookshop/cafe in a particularly lovely area of France, -Strasbourg, on the eastern border of France and Germany.

Residing in the picture perfect village of Kirchhoffen, Kat’s world is seemingly magical, populated with “pretty houses with walls painted blue, white, red, tan or yellow, many with window-boxes frothing with summer flowers”, and an ideal job graced with good friends that is perfectly suited to her “sunny and uncomplicated” life.

However, as Kat is soon to discover, changes are afoot – some of them unfortunately visceral and painful, others a slowly dripping faucet pooling into uncertainty, unresolved issues from childhood, and yes, new love, swirling within the dark and murky waters, so slippery and elusive that nothing at all may be allowed to surface.

As Kat faces betrayal, vengeance, bitterness, rejection and loss, her seemingly placid world is rocked with emotions so long buried that it may be impossible for her to recover.

A sweet and poignant look at finding the will to stand up for oneself, perhaps too strongly and certainly decades too late, as childhood battles never fought now see the light of day, and could that be love, (for self, for family and for others), emerging blinking into the sunshine?

An enjoyable and evocative travel-infused romp, (but one with serious heart and a whole lot of compassion), that, as this reader discovered, makes for the perfect sweet and sensitive pick-me-up read for a grey and snowy afternoon.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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