Summer at the Kindness Café – Victoria Walters | @Vicky_Walters @TeamBATC

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!

Summer at the Kindness Café was previously published as a four-part serial titled Random Acts of Kindness. This is the complete story in one package.

Summer at the Kindness Café was published on the 13th June 2019 by Simon & Schuster. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book for this review.

Summer at the Kindness Café was originally published as 4 novella’s over a period of time so there are four distinct sections of the book and as a result there is some repetition to remind readers of key events from the previous book/s.

Victoria Walters debut novel, The Second Love Of My Life was one of my top reads of 2016 therefore I started Summer at the Kindness Café with high expectations…and it did not disappoint!

Abbie has fled London after being made redundant and is needing to stay with her sister temporarily in Littlewood whilst she job hunts and gets back on her feet. Louise is very different to her sister, she loves the sleepy town feel of Littlewood where she ended up after running away from heartbreak.

Abbie arrives in Littlewood before her sister so heads to the local café for a coffee – whilst there she bumps into Eszter and her daughter Zoe and it is in this café that she discovers the kindness project Littlewood has whereby you pass on random acts of kindness – this is an alien concept to Abbie after living in London! As the book blurb states – can a little bit of kindness really change your life?

Summer at the Kindness Café has such well developed characters and a beautiful setting (Littlewood and its stately home sound just wonderful!). I adored the main female characters in the book who are all feisty, independent but all wonderfully supportive of one another. The dynamic between Abbie and Louise is brilliant as they seem to think they are like chalk and cheese but in fact they are more similar than they realise. Ezster was also a strong character who is in a strange country with her young daughter, Zoe, fulfilling her husband’s dying wish for them to visit his home and meet his mother, Anne. Ezster certainly isn’t welcomed with open arms as Anne is carrying a lot of bitterness about her son’s absence from Littlewood but is a lonely woman when she starts to let the walls down and open up to someone. All these women are the type of people you would want in your life, fighting your corner.

Whilst, I felt that this book is predominately about kindness (clue in the title 🙂 ) and female friendship, there are a couple of fabulous male characters that deserve a mention; Thomas Huntley who is rattling around his stately home trying to make ends meet so he doesn’t lose his family home and Alex, the local vet. Both these chaps are true gentlemen who bring an air of classic romance to the story!

Victoria Walter’s writing is stunning, she draws you in with the wonderful characters and the setting which she brings to life through the descriptions of the community and locations. Littlewood is as important to the narrative as the characters are.

I had high expectations after The Second Love Of My Life and its short story prequel The Summer I Met You and Summer at the Kindness Café did not disappoint! I absolutely adored this book and the infectious theme of kindness that runs through the book – I was rooting for Abbie, Louise and Eszter from the start and 100% fell in love with Littlewood and it’s community.

A wonderful heartwarming read which is the perfect summer read – highly recommended!

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.

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