Huge thanks to Orion for the beautiful ARC, and to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in Libby Page’s blog tour for ‘The 24 Hour Cafe’.
Welcome to the café that never sleeps.
What does TWG think?
Before I opened up the pages of ‘The 24 Hour Cafe’, I had found myself in a reading slump. In fact, I’d go as far to say that it was pretty much a life slump. For various reasons (some of which shouldn’t really go into a review), I just couldn’t find the urge to pick up a book and, when I did, I found myself staring at everything but the pages.
‘The 24 Hour Cafe’ was a book which I had heard so much about and was so eager to read, I would have been incredibly disappointed if I had been unable to review based on the issues I was, and still am, facing. So, I opened the pages…..
People say that books are magic. That they enable people to visit their subconscious’ in a subtle way. That they open doors to a world where mental health, race, lifestyle and what not, is completely irrelevant and you’re accepted for who you are. ‘The 24 Hour Cafe’ is magic because it removed me from my reading slump and gave me back the excitement I was so desperately craving. Not only that, this book allowed me to find solace in the characters journeys which meant that I was able to step away from my own life for a short space of time.
The cafe, in general, is more than an eatery that is open 24 hours. It’s more than a place of work for Pablo, Hannah, Mona, Sofia and co. It’s more than just bricks and mortar. To the characters that walked through those doors, the cafe is an escape. A respite. A place to hide away from the weather or issues which didnt involve food or drink. To them it’s a place to reminisce. To find themselves again. And, even for the members of staff, ‘The 24 Hour Cafe’ is a home away from home.
This book is literally a story full of other stories, and I absolutely loved it. Every character was given their moment to find themselves before going back and revisiting them a year later. Some of the stories were quite emotional; dealing with grief, homelessness, mental health troubles. Whereas others gave me hope as well. Each serious topic was dealt with very sensitively, highlighting the importance of admitting to yourself you need help, or lowering your guard to allow someone to point you in the right direction. I loved the way that the story showed that asking for help isnt weak, nor is striving for your own definition of perfection instead of doing what is expected.
With every new page I turned, the storyline became cosier and cosier, so much so that I was bereft when the book ended. If heartwarming is what you are after, you cannot get more touching than the words on the pages of ‘The 24 Hour Cafe’. I wish I had the types of friendships mentioned in this book, I really do. They were so beautiful to read about and reminded me that, even though the world can be such a dark and uncertain place to be, if you look hard enough you can find the things, or people, that light up your world when you truly need it.
As someone who truly needed to be lit up by this incredible, incredible novel, I want to thank Libby Page for the hope that was infused in her story. I genuinely cannot recommend this tender, magnetic, magical read enough.