Published: October 10th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
Read Date: October 12th 2017
Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.
Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.
As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?
The book simply is beautiful with delicious food of Welcome Home Diner. It’s about struggling life of Jaworski sisters in new business and their personal life surrounded by lovely staff and hesitant, fearful neighbors of Detroit. Book revolves around The Welcome Home Diner and its owner Addie and Sam narrated in their alternative perspective. You will see ups and down of not only these sisters but the staff of their diner and their home like diner. It’s a journey of diner and its owner of starting a business from scratch to running it with a vision – an old fashioned place serving authentic and organic food and welcoming all races with blessing and recipes of their beloved grandmother.
Addie– Brain and owner of diner. She was sensitive, warm hearted and ambitious woman with spreadsheets and to-do list of diner and also her life. Sam– Addie’s cousin, partner of diner. Cook of the diner, who never organize anything and live and walk the present.
Staff of diner– Braydon (manager), Quiche (works the grill at counter), Lella (waitress). Diner started with these 3 staff and added new additions eventually- Paul, Sylvia, Gary. They all were amazing. They all had life story to share in the book.
There were other important characters in the book who were connected to the member of diner whom you will love to know and connect with. Specifically Addie and Sam’s babcia (grandmother) and Sun Beam– Quiche’s daughter, she was so adorable and I loved her sandwich inventions. Oh and magical hot sauce vendor Jessie, you would love the company of this woman and her tricks of calming down inner demons and purge the place with negative energy, she was one interesting character in the book. Hero, Sam’s dog, was a real hero in the book. And there was that angry neighbor Angus.
I’m feeling like I just started and I’m leaving out many other characters in the book but trust me you won’t forget all these characters. Character development of main characters was brilliant, heartwarming.
First that cover. Isn’t it beautiful? Here is the fact, when I got review opportunity, I decided to read this book by just looking at the cover. I read blurb later and I liked it but cover has already taken my heart. It’s so perfect with the theme of the book. Talking about theme and concept, this book covered lot of things and I really loved the way author represented it with unique writing style and delicious food.
“The worst time to bring up a sensitive subject is when emotions are running high. But Bottled-up questions can’t be healthy, either.”
Book started with the Polish word guide, tour to Welcome Home’s area, introduction to the staff, conditions of Detroit and their drawbacks with the area and weather. I loved the way all staff connected to diner and to each other to become a family. Best thing was life story of all characters, story of Addie and Sam’s life, their family and grandmother was beautifully narrated. They all had something to tell, something to teach and something to learn from them.
“Heartache’s universal, and all of our plots and little schemes, in the end, are futile with love hinged to fickle whim of fate. A fate that can strip you raw, leave you empty-handed, busted, no cards left to play.”
I came to admire the heart characters of this book (Addie and Sam) by the end of the book for their relationship, for their unique vision and thoughts on diner, city, and all those sensitive issues discussed in the book, and for the way they handles everything. They first won my heart when wind was against them they never discriminated or blamed their staff. The trust they had for them was remarkable.
There was very detailed history of Detroit from motor city to demographics, racial discrimination and segregation to revitalization of the city (it’s beginning of this time when our character started a business), weather of the city to the musical culture. I got very close look to this city and how characters were attached to it and loved it. History of the city played important role in the book as characters and city were struggling with the after effects of the city’s downtime. It was very delicately and perfectly handled.
There were other sensitive topic apart from color discrimination like, sex trafficking, kidnapping, impersonation and defamation that created problem to city and diner. Friendship, family, love, and community together poured warm and touching feeling to book. Romance and love story in the book was desert amid the terrific dreadful subjects.
I loved it when Addie compared some situations with the mythology. Specifically when she was asking the power of all the Goddess to conquer the problems of her personal life. The philosophy in the book, talk of Jessie and Addie’s references were so thought provoking and brilliant, they had left great impression on me and also turned me into believer like Addie.
Climax– finally the revelation of antagonist, who gave hard time diner and its staff was shocking. I couldn’t guess that person would do such things and the reason behind doing all the evil damage was so small. I couldn’t have guessed that person in ages. End was so feel-good and fair. I surely want to read more books by this author.
One last thing there are recipes from diner’s menu so don’t miss it. Book is also best for group read. It was fun thinking about answers of discussion questions given at the end of the book.
Only teensy thing. In the beginning of the book I was struggling for getting into the book. But once I learned little more about characters and situations, it was smooth till the end.
Overall, book was steady paced, with tasty family and romantic drama, sour sensitive issues of city and delicious food of dinner served at the end with desert of love, friendship and community. I recommend this book to everyone who love to read women fictions that serves something different.
Author: Peggy Lampman
To know more about author click Here.
*** Note: I received review copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got a chance to read this book. ***
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Happy Reading! 🙂