Author: Danielle Hawkins
Danielle Hawkins writes books with amazing titles that make me add the books to the wishlist, but I have never quite got around to reading her books. Finally that has changed, and I would still like to go back and read Chocolate Cake For Breakfast because… well because Chocolate cake for breakfast.
The Pretty Delicious Cafe is set in a little town in New Zealand called Ratai where best friends Anna and Lia own and run a cafe. The story is very much character driven and written with humour and insight.
Hawkins explores a couple of tricky relationships and I was intrigued to see how things would go.
Lia has a twin brother, Rob, so they are quite clearly fraternal twins but they share that inexplicable bond that ties them closer than other siblings. They share an intuitive connection that defies explanation and that they try to make light of, until they are in a situation where it’s validity is undeniable.
The characters are all quite complex and have a lot going on around them so for the most part they were quite well developed. Anna and Lia have been friends since Uni but now they are also soon to be sisters when Anna marries Rob, which brings it’s own host of dramas to the table.
I was laughing from the first page with the situations Lia sometimes managed to get herself into, and that carried through the entire novel. This family is definitely quirky, every one of them, and it was great to read.
The Pretty Delicious Cafe is the backdrop for the bulk of the story, the cafe opened by Anna and Lia which is also Lia’s home and situated at the top of a quite secluded mountain. The cafe is a great idea, and quite popular in the tourist season but the off season is a little slow so they really need to work out how to smooth the workload a little.
I loved this book, I love the characters and I love the sense of family. There is a lot going on and things don’t always run smoothly but through it all they have each other.
Anna and Lia are best friends, they’ve squabbled at times but never anything too serious. Now that they work together and the busy season is setting in, as well as organising Anna and Rob’s wedding, they are both exhausted and nerves get a little frayed. I love that they are both a little insecure and have their own quirky habits that standing on the outside I can find endearing but can be sure that it wouldn’t seem that way from the inside.
If that’s not enough going on Lia is still hearing from her ex-boyfriend on a terribly regular basis because he just doesn’t want to admit that it’s over, he seems like a sad, harmless little man but his behaviour escalates throughout the story to show that people are definitely not always what they seem.
I want to say this is a great little light-hearted read to wile away the hours poolside but the more I think about it the more it occurs to me that it really isn’t that light-hearted; there are some pretty major issues within these pages. The Pretty Delicious Cafe deals with mental health issues as well as a huge range of deep family issues so it’s not really light-hearted but it is written with heart, with wit and with sensitivity.
The banter between some of the characters amused me and was something I could relate to, it really helped give a feel for the characters; which wasn’t always a good thing.
I can’t really think of any downsides to this one, except that there was a character or two I would have liked a little more background and depth to completely understand the dynamics at play. I was entertained, amused and moved by The Pretty Delicious Cafe and will definitely add Hawkins to the watchlist.
Danielle Hawkins can be followed on Facebook.