Reay, Katherine. Of Literature and Lattes. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2020.
ISBN-13: 978-0785222040 | $16.99 USD | 336 pages | Christian Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Return 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 and 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.
“In her ode to small towns and second chances, Katherine Reay writes with affection and insight about the finer things in life.” —KAREN DUKESS, author of The Last Book PartyFollow-up to The Printed Letter BookshopFull-length small-town romance (c. 86,000 words)Includes Discussion Questions
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Katherine Reay has frequently been recommended to me by some of my favorite inspirational writers, particularly her Austen inspired books. So, I was eager to give her a try with her latest, Of Literature and Lattes. And while it has a good idea at the heart of it, I just didn’t care for the execution.
I love the cozy small town atmosphere, and hearing that she has another book set in the same small town is exciting, as I know what I might check out next. And of the characters and storylines, I enjoyed Jeremy and his relationship with his daughter Becca.
However, I never fully felt invested in Alyssa’s story, and there’s a plethora of other characters who I found too hard to keep track of.
Admittedly this is a bit of an odd book in a genre I don’t read often (small town contemporary), so I think your mileage may vary when it comes to whether you enjoy this one. If you’ve been a fan of this genre in the past or like this author, I think you should make the call for yourself,
Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy & Jane, The Bronte Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape and The Printed Letter Bookshop. Her first nonfiction book, co-authored with Rebecca Powell, will release February 2020. Katherine’s novels are love letters to books. They are character driven stories that examine the past as a way to find one’s best way forward. In the words of The Bronte Plot’s Lucy Alling, she writes of “that time when you don’t know where you’ll be, but you can’t stay as you are.”
Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She then worked in marketing and development before returning to graduate school for a Masters of Theological Studies. Moves to Texas, England, Ireland and Washington left that degree unfinished as Katherine spent her time unpacking, raising kids, volunteering, writing, and exploring new storylines and new cities. Katherine writes full-time now and, as her kids go off to college, she finds the house increasingly quiet. Soon only she and her husband, with dogs Patch and Trip, will live at home outside Chicago.
When not plotting a character’s demise and long journey home, Katherine can be found walking (no longer running) the neighborhood, hanging out with her kids and friends, or – rarely and with great excitement – fly fishing. You can also find her all across social media chatting about life, literature, lattes and the world of books.
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