Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay
Published by Thomas Nelson on May 12, 2020 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, christian, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction
Format & Length: e-book, 336
Katherine Reay returns 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 then 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.
After having read and loved Katherine Reay’s The Printed Letter Bookshop, I was excited to discover Of Literature and Lattes, which isn’t exactly a sequel but the second book to take place in this universe. And I’m happy to have read this heartwarming tale as well.
The main plot here follows two characters: Alyssa, who is returning to her hometown after the Silicon Valley startup she worked for collapsed; and Jeremy, who moved to be close to his daughter and is now fulfilling his dream of opening a coffee shop. There are quite a few subplots and secondary characters in this novel, and as some of these characters narrate some sections the story becomes a bit muddied, especially in some cases where the point of view switches mid chapter with no warning. I suspect some of these elements are planted to root future books, but this particular book would have felt tighter without them.
While Of Literature and Lattes is a romance, there is a lot more going on in these pages. It explores many types of relationships, from employer/employee to friendship and parent/child and more. I particularly liked the exploration of mother daughter dynamics and found much of it to be incredibly realistic and insightful.
In the end, I enjoyed reading Of Literature and Lattes, just not as much as I loved The Printed Letter Bookshop. I don’t think I’d reread this particular book but if more are written in this universe I will definitely check them out!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.