Review: Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Summer at the Comfort Food CafeThe Blurb

‘My new favourite author’ – Holly Martin, bestselling author of ‘Christmas at Lilac Cottage’ & ‘Summer at Rose Island

The brand new book from best-selling author Debbie Johnson will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you raid the pantry in the middle of the night…

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

Oh what do I say about Summer at the Comfort Food Café? Before I get into the things I loved (not liked, loved) about this story I want to say how if this book had arms it would grab you and pull you in to the most amazing hug ever. I felt like healed after reading it. I’m not sure what I was healed over…nor was I aware I may have needed healing but Summer at the Comfort Food Café is just magical.

Meet the Walker family: Laura, Lizzie and Nate. They are a family drowning in their grief over the death of a father and husband. They are barely keeping their heads above water with their grief but when Laura sees an advert for a job as a cook she makes the life changing decision to up-sticks from their Manchester home and relocates to Dorset for the summer.

What I loved about Summer at the Comfort Food Café is that Johnson tackled an emotional issue with sensitivity and still managed to make the loss of a husband/father still come across as raw and emotional. It is unthinkably heartbreaking to even imagine what this must feel like yet Johnson portrayed so delicately but still managed to make me cry. Well done!

I really enjoyed the bourgeoning love story of Lizzie and Matt and how they danced around each other – both not sure how to approach each other, they were nervous and ridiculously endearing.

Overall, what I took from Summer at the Soul Food Café is that people can be inherently good. The characters that frequented the Comfort Food Café all tried to help one another; sometimes these may be big gestures and other times they might be small – sometimes a small gesture is all you need and that, to me, was the heart of the novel.

I have yet to read a novel by Debbie Johnson that I haven’t loved and Summer at the Comfort Food Café is no exception. She really is an amazing writer; a writer whose books I eagerly anticipate and you should too.

Summer at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is available from 29th January 2016.

Follow Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnshon) via Twitter.

5 Stars


  1. 5th May 2016 / 11:22 pm

    Sounds wonderful and just at the right time of year!

    • 6th May 2016 / 7:09 am

      It really was a ‘feel good’ book. Debbie Johnson is a brilliant author and she is a nice lady too x x

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