Summer at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson

2nd August 2016

What the publisher says:

The brand new book from bestselling 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.

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…




What I say:

I have to say that I was prepared to be disappointed by this book.  I didn’t know much about the author and bought it on the strength of favourable reviews I saw from other book bloggers on Twitter and as we all know, not everyone has the same taste.   Initially I intended to keep it for a holiday read but couldn’t resist in the end and began to read.


Laura is a widow following the sudden death of her husband David after an accident.  (No spoilers here you find this out fairly quickly in the book).   She knows she needs to get life back to some sort of normal for herself and her two teenage children  and decides to apply for the position of cook for the summer at the Comfort Food Café, partly because of the lack of opportunities in her home town of Manchester and partly because that way they will all also get a holiday and a break from the depressing reality of life without David.  To her own surprise Cherie gives her the job and the family make the trek down to Dorset for the summer, taking their elderly dog Jimbo with them too.


The story continues as the family settle in to their new way of life and the way that the life in the village seems to revolve around the café.  The relationship between Laura and her kids is well written, Debbie Johnson clearly drew on real life experience for that, and at times this book actually made me laugh out loud.  Although I like to think I have a sense of humour, it is rare that a book will raise more than a smile from me so that really is a compliment.  As you might expect from a book with a single woman at the heart of it there is a romance element although this does not run smoothly and so comes across realistically. The book also has a sad moment which actually made me cry and is making me well up thinking about it.


All in all a cracking read, well worth the money and one that I am sure I will come back to time and time again.


Rating 5 out of 5

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