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The Café by the Sea by Jenny Colgan []



Flora MacKenzie abandoned her father and brothers to the farm where she was raised immediately following her mother’s funeral, escaping to an appealingly anonymous city life where she works, drinks wine, and nurses a crush on her boss. She reluctantly returns to the remote Scottish island when required by a work assignment from her fancy London law firm. Left to her own devices by scheduling delays, she cleans up her childhood home, finds her mother’s handwritten recipe book, and begins to cook meals and treats that bring her mother’s memory back and her family together. She even finds herself attracted to a lovely man from a neighboring island. Without expecting or wanting it, she finds home, love, work, and herself, all while coordinating the successful community integration of a wealthy developer and his hotel project. Multiple fully developed gay characters break up the relentless heteronormativity often found in the genre.

A great pick for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, and Louise Miller’s The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living.

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