Summer at the Kindness Café by Victoria Walters: Inspiring, thoughtful and imbued with genuine warmth and tenderness - book review -

Summer at the Kindness Cafe
Summer at the Kindness Cafe
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They ‘do things differently’ in the small town of Littlewood… and three young women are going to find their lives transformed in the most surprising ways.

They ‘do things differently’ in the small town of Littlewood… and three young women are going to find their lives transformed in the most surprising ways.

If this year’s summer has left you feeling unseasonably cold, cosy up and feel the warmth in this enchanting and entertaining story which reminds us of the power of love, the joys of friendship, and the rewards of the simplest acts of kindness.

Summer at the Kindness Café is the complete package of a previously published four-part serial titled Random Acts of Kindness, and comes from the pen of Victoria Walters who was first discovered in a short story competition.

Brimming with the important feel-good factor, and starring a cast of adorable characters that readers will take to their hearts, this is a lovely, beautifully written, life-affirming story, and the perfect holiday companion.

Brew, a charming, friendly and inviting café in the grounds of a smart hotel, has become the focal point of the Surrey town of Littlewood and it’s all thanks to the owners, Joy and Harry, who have made the spirit of kindness almost as important as their coffee.

The café’s Kindness Board encourages customers to write down any acts of kindness they receive and to repay them by being kind to someone else.

When Abbie Morgan walks through the door of Brew, she feels humiliated and a failure after escaping a broken romance, being made redundant from her London job, and losing her city flat because she can no longer pay the rent.

Abbie is moving in with her younger sister, Louise, who is still struggling to come to terms with being jilted only two weeks before her wedding to her childhood sweetheart two years ago, and has thrown herself into her career as a nurse at the local hospital.

Work blocks out Louise’s personal problems but at the same time she is preventing her life moving forward and leaving herself open to the possibility of finding love again.

Also new to the town is Hungarian-born Eszter who has travelled from Budapest with her seven-year-old daughter Zoe and is hoping to fulfil her husband Nick Harris’ dying wish to reunite his family.

Nick’s widowed mother still lives in Littlewood but he hadn’t seen her for years and Eszter is determined to find out why and to be reconciled with her if she can.

This summer, these three very different women are inspired by the random acts of kindness written on the Kindness Board at Brew, and decide to make a pact to be kinder to others and to themselves. But can a little bit of kindness really change your life?

There is an abundance of love, a heartwarming sense of togetherness and, of course, kindness at the heart of this gentle, reassuring story but Walters also tackles some real-life issues like loneliness, hardship and bereavement.

Each of the principal characters is beautifully portrayed and their lives, loves, friendships and new beginnings unfold in a charming blend of drama, romance and unexpected twists and turns.

Inspiring, thoughtful and imbued with genuine warmth and tenderness, Summer at the Kindness Café is a kind, caring and cuddly reading treat.

(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £7.99)