Summer at the Kindness Cafe
By Victoria Walters
Today I am pleased to have been invited on The Random Things Blog Tour for the book – Summer at the Kindness Cafe. A book which readers can be encapsulated in the warmth of kindness and friendship as well as cafe culture and life changing events.
About the Author
Victoria Walters was discovered in a short story competition run by Simon & Schuster’s The Hot Bed. Her first novel, The Second Love of my Life was published by Headline, and she returns to the fold with Summer at the Kindness Cafe, her second novel.
Welcome to Brew, a cafe where kindness is almost as important as coffee… almost!
Abbie has fled London and the humiliation of not being able to make rent after being made redundant. Her sister, Louise, unlucky in love, has thrown herself into her career at the local hospital. And Eszter, who has travelled from Hungary with her daughter Zoe, is hoping to fulfil her husband’s dying wish: to reunite his family.
This summer, three very different women are inspired by the random acts of kindness written up on the Kindness Board at Brew, and decide to make a pact to be kinder to others and to themselves.
Can a little bit of kindness really change your life? Eszter, Abbie and Louise are about to find out!
Enter Brew – Kindness Cafe this summer and you won’t be disappointed. Enter Brew and be inspired to do your own random acts of kindness this summer, like the three women within this story.
I love that there is a book like this, which actively becomes part of spreading the word about being kind to each other and yourself. It makes me think of a talk by another author/comedian/presenter (Susan Calman) at the Edinburgh Fringe who had an act with the by-line to join the “Kindness Revolution”. This is what this book does, it’s almost like it is part of it.
Abbie Morgan is the main protagonist and is forced to leave London after being made redundant. This reflects just how expensive London is. It’s a good way for the author to begin her story. It also means readers are already on the journey of Abbie as she seeks a new life and within a couple of pages, brings about feelings of care for this character.
Then there’s Louise, her very kind sister, who Abbie finally travels to be with in Littlewood. This is the situation of the cafe – Brew. The cafe has a board where people write-up random acts of kindnesses they’ve experienced from others. I love this idea. I’ve no idea if there are any boards like that, but perhaps there ought to be. There’s something heart-warming and quite beautiful about it. Within the book there are sections called “Notes from the Brew Kindness Board”. This may inspire some people to follow-suit and do random acts of kindness.
The contrast shows through well, between Abbie and Louise. Abbie has hardened a little and can’t really imagine being kind to a stranger and Louise who appears naturally kind, too kind, according to Abbie (not that there’s such a thing as too kind), but she sees Louise as slightly neglecting herself and she ought to be kinder to herself.
This is far from a cloyingly sickly sweet read however, so don’t be fooled. There’s heartbreak and bitter sweetness in this book. Louise, for all that she seems completely together and has life sorted, has had her heart-broken and the author ensures readers know it’s been badly broken.
Abbie, initially doesn’t know where to start on her first ever random act of kindness, it’s not really her thing, to be kind to a complete stranger. Eszter however gives some good advice and before long, Abbie has seen someone who she can be kind to. It’s all very down-to-earth and seems to unfold naturally. There’s nothing outlandish in this book.
I feel readers can really get into the characters lives and get to know their personalities and what’s happened to them as well as see their lives progress. Are their lives transformed through kindness? It is worth reading to find out.
This is a heart-warming book of kindness, friendship, finding new paths in life, which makes for a great summer read. It’s one I hope does make an impact and inspires more people to be kind to themselves, each other and to strangers.
Once the story has ended, turn the page for a lovely note by the author.
Praise for the author
Your favourite authors LOVE Summer at the Kindness Cafe:
‘A heart-warming read – cosy and comforting. I loved it!’ HEIDI
‘Utterly gorgeous, a totally heart-warming, beautiful story. I loved
every single page!’ HOLLY MARTIN
‘A really lovely story – heart-warming and life affirming’ JO THOMAS
‘Warmth and kindness on every page’ SHEILA O’FLANAGAN
‘I adored Summer at The Kindness Café – it’s such a cosy,
heart-warming read’ JENNIFER JOYCE