The 24 Hour Cafe – Libby Page ★★★★★

Blurb; Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…

My Review; After loving The Lido last year and it making my top twenty reads of last year I could not wait to get my hands on this one, I knew I was in for a treat. I was not disappointed. Another brilliant read from Libby.

For me this is a long book at just under 400 pages but I flew through it in a weekend. I loved it. I enjoyed it. One I won’t forget for a long time. Within the story is a powerful message which the author talks about at the end of her book which is the importance of female friendships and how powerful and needed those relationships are.

This book has the perfect setting a 24 hour cafe! A place where hundreds of people pass every day and night. Many entering the cafe for different reasons. Each customer has their own story to tell. I loved the way the book was told over a 24 hour period and how we got to see more than just the two main characters lives Hannah and Mona, we got a glimpse and look in to the customers lives too. The way it is written makes you feel like you know each and every person personally.

Mona and Hannah have the perfect friendship one they both really needed to survive the London life and their dreams for the future. But after a huge argument will they rekindle that friendship? A beautiful story. A beautiful setting. Made me think about how I’ve never seen a 24 hour cafe before either. A well deserved five stars. Highly recommend. It may just end up in my top twenty reads of 2020. Libby never disappoints me. Brilliant.

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chick-lit · contemporary

The Lido – Libby Page ★★★★★

Blurb; Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.

But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat.

As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.

My Review; There are not enough words to describe this story, but here’s a few; uplifting, comforting, friendship, community, beautiful, joyful, kind, tender, charming and a feel good novel. That should be enough right?

I had my head in this book and didn’t want to leave it or put it down. I was a part of that community with them the whole time, I was their friend and welcomed. I truelly devoured this story and sad that I finished it. It is a stunning debut. A must read if you haven’t already. One you won’t forget.

I loved the whole community within the book. The friendships, the bonds, the stories they tell and lastly how they always stuck together and fought together till the end. My heart was with them the whole time. A beautiful lot of characters, especially Kate and Rosemary they had such a cute and amazing unexpected relationship. I think they both needed each other to be honest. I loved them all.

Beautifully written. I cannot recommend this story enough. A must buy. A well deserved five stars from me and it’s got to have a place in my top twenty of the year. Beautiful. Amazing. Outstanding. Absolutely loved every minute of it.

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