“A richly comic, poignant narrative” (Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird)


The story takes place mainly in Whistle Stop, Alabama, one of the small rural towns that the railroad line passes through which lends the name to the Cafe, owned by two women who share a unique bond. It takes a deal of research to create the atmosphere of the rural south during the 1920’s onward as the inhabitants were separated by prejudices and the author has been effective in her writing of this work.

We begin in a Nursing Home, where an elderly lady (who loves to gab and reminisce about days gone by) and a middle-aged woman (who wonders what she is supposed to do next now that her family is raised and feels rather useless but compensates by eating), start a friendship that goes on for several months meeting one day a week. The women through their weekly meetings not only fill the voids missing in their lives but also offer “hope”.

I really enjoyed the writing going back in forth in time, the characters created to fit into the different time periods, even the occasional news letter written by the post mistress of Whistle Stop and her husbands exploits which are very entertaining.  If you’ve ever seen the movie by the same name, the basic story is there with minor changes, which is usual when the screenwriter’s make it palatable as a visual.  Highly recommend. An added bonus are the recipes included in the back of the book of the food prepared at the Café by the cook.


Reviewed by:

Diana Long

Added 5th March 2020

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Diana Long