Saturday, April 28, 2007
The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith
Heartbroken and cynical, famed actress Cathryn Deen hides from the world after a horrific accident scars her for life.
Secluded in her grandmother’s North Caroline mountain home, Cathryn at first resists the friendship of the local community and the famous biscuits served up by her loyal cousin, Delta, at The Crossroads Café, until a neighbor, former New York architect Thomas Mitternich, reaches out to her.
Thomas lost his wife and son in the World Trade Center. In the years since he’s struggled with alcohol and despair. He thinks nothing and no one can make his life worth living again.
Until he meets Cathryn.
It’s such a delight to read a book with so many characters that are so fully drawn. This isn’t just Cathy and Thomas’s story, it’s also about the land and the people who live there. Smith has written a funny and deeply moving story that has characters who will stay with me a long time. Sometimes it was a funny exchange between characters, or the metaphor of making biscuits that turn out right, or the pain of wanting to fix someone who isn’t ready to be fixed. This is definitely a romance but ever so much more. I laughed and cried, but I smiled a lot.
Normally, I’m not much for “reading guides”, but some of the questions at the end of the book were thought provoking. “Do you feel that your looks – good, bad or ordinary – have played a major part in shaping your life? How?” Now considering this book’s heroine was a beautiful woman whose whole life had revolved around her beauty before she was burned, this question seemed perfectly natural. But it’s a good question anyway.
I guess it’s official, I’m a fangirl of Deborah Smith. So far, there hasn’t been a book of hers that I haven’t LOVED. There’s so much depth to the characters, I hate to leave them. I give this an A+.