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Novel set in Sydney and Edinburgh (“..a total rollercoaster of emotions”)

24th December 2015

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse, novel set in Sydney and Edinburgh.

IMG_2918A heart warming novel to read in the run-up to Christmas – hot, balmy beaches to herald the festive season on one side of the world, and light dustings of snow on the other side. Sydney and Edinburgh are cleverly juxtaposed and they couldn’t be more different. The cold, dark streets of Edinburgh, speckled with festive lights, contrast with Echo Point, perfect for watching sunrise over the Three Sisters (one of the most stunning things Bea has ever witnessed and sounds like a top tip for travellers!)

Opening with the death of Bea’s partner Peter, the novel is imbued with thought and care of what it means to be part of a family and how each member copes with history, loss and implications for the future. Bea runs a small café in Sydney, it is a year  since Peter died. With the help of Tait and Kim she has a nice little business at the Reservoir Street Kitchen. But Christmas is looming and this will be the first time she will have had to open the box of baubles that Peter so carefully packed up at the beginning of the year.

Bea – at her ‘advanced’ age of 53 (surely not!) but “one cool gran” –  is grappling with the computer and e mail phenomenon and has found an e mail partner in Alex, based in Edinburgh, who runs the eponymous cafe of the title there. Their dialogue flows, it is easy, it’s intimate, and soon Bea is being supported in planning a trip to Edinburgh where she and Alex could meet up.

Her granddaughter has been running into trouble at school and feels she is not really being heard by her parents, who are wrapped up in their own relationship. So Bea and her granddaughter are thrown together and it is a natural development that they set off on a trip to Scotland together. Staying at the swish Balmoral Hotel (that can boast the address no. 1 Princes Street), they start to explore the Scottish capital in the build up to Christmas. What they discover, of course, is at the nub of the narrative….. and to find out more, you will need to buy the book. An easy and thoughtful read.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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