Sissy: I was drawn to this novel initially by the title and the cover–I anticipated a warm and homey story with a cast full of charming, quirky characters. I sat down in my chair that has an ottoman one Fall afternoon and began to read, and what I discovered was exactly what I had hoped for and more! I will admit that the first third of The Quaker Cafe was more on the light and warm side and didn’t grab at me like a blockbusting thriller, but as I read on I was more and more engaged and intrigued. Then Author Brenda Bevan Remmes served up some good old Southern plot twists a la John Grisham and bam– it had me good from there. Not that this book is in the same genre as a John Grisham–more like if a John Grisham and Fannie Flagg had a baby and it was this book.
Bubby: Ooo, that’s a good analogy. Well done, Sissy! I have two big issues with Quaker Cafe. First is that there are so many plot twists that I’m having a hard time writing a review without giving away any spoilers! I keep wanting to talk about a particular event and then realizing that I can’t. Secondly, the last scene of the book is so inspiring and energizing and I wanted more! But I turned the (virtual) page and it was over. Luckily, Brenda Bevan Remmes is already working on a sequel. I hope she hurries!
Sissy: Yes, Please, Ms Remmes, hurry it up! Now let’s talk characters, because this book is oozing with them. I will quickly mention one of my favorites because I know Bubby is itching to talk about him and I want to steal her moment. Reverend Broadnax!! I can’t say much without spoiling things, but our dear Reverend from the local Baptist church steals a few scenes in hilarious, clever, and inspiring ways. I would love to meet and worship with the real life him plus have his choir sing at my funeral. Wait, Bubby’s funeral, so I would be alive to hear it.
Bubby: Thanks a lot. You know that you’re going to die first, right?
Sissy: No, because I am following Dr. Oz’s daily steps to health. Plus short people live longer.
Bubby: Whatever. You’re going first. Although my teenage daughter told me the other day that I probably won’t make it to 70 because “that’s really old”. And then my youngest daughter asked me, “Mommy, why do you look so much older than all the other ladies your age?”. What a day for self-esteem and confidence boosters! I did love Reverend Broadnax. He is so well-done! I too would love to meet him. I also loved the names of some of Brenda Bevan Remme’s characters – Frogbelly, Miss Ellie, The Judge; don’t they just send you straight to the South?
Sissy: I don’t agree with your youngest. You have luminescent skin. In essence, The Quaker Cafe is rich with characters, content, and themes. Learning about contemporary Quaker culture was so interesting, especially when juxtaposed with Southern small town living. Add a heap of deep subject matter such as family, faith, love, lust, dying, and on and on, and you just fall in love with this book. My biggest laugh from this book came when my and bubby’s teenaged sons were sitting by me on the couch. I chortled so boisterously they insisted I share, which I did, with some embarrassment (you will understand when you read it). So, yes–I highly recommend this read, and encourage you to get it and give yourself some great enjoyment.
Bubby: Oh, that’s a great scene! The Quaker Cafe is just the book to read right now as we transition into fall. A comfy chair, a bowl of soup and the Quaker Cafe is a recipe for a perfect Autumn evening.
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