Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Katherine Reay returns to the cozy and delightful town of Winsome where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.
After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup then move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.
Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.
With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. KnightleyLizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily PriceThe Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flairKatherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and is a wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL. You can meet her at; Facebook: KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; or Instagram: @katherinereay.

Though The Printed Letter Bookshop has been on my TBR list for as long as it's been out, I had not had a chance to read it yet...and to be entirely honest, until I was about three quarters of the way through this one, it somehow escaped my notice that Of Literature and Lattes was a followup to that book. Realizing that actually allowed me to appreciate this book a lot more and had me wishing that I'd started there. While it certainly CAN be read as a standalone, I found that for me the first part of the book was only eh... it took me a bit to get into the story, and frankly I felt a bit disconnected with some of the characters... as though I should have known their story better and been better able to keep up with the vast number of characters I was being introduced to. Upon realizing it was the second book, that made a lot more sense. Though I would still give it a solid 3.5 stars, I do believe it could have been higher had I already had some familiarity with Winsome and the people there.

That being said, despite my slow start into it... by the end I was really drawn into this place with it's small town charm and the people residing there. I particularly found myself enjoying Jeremy and his daughter. I got the impression that this wasn't quite the end of their story or the last we'd see of Winsome, Illinois so I do hope to have the chance to visit them again--- perhaps after going back to reread the first book first!

I didn't always care for Alyssa's character, particularly toward the beginning but she did grow on me as the story went on. I enjoyed the romance between her and Jeremy, though I didn't find it to be a major focus of the story. More than anything I enjoyed the stories of redemption and second chances--- and the unique love story between mothers and daughters.

Overall, this was a good book, but one that I would personally say should be read AFTER first reading The Printed Letter Bookshop to better appreciate the story.


Post a Comment

"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24