Monday, July 31, 2023

July Read: At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities by Heather Webber


Y'all know I love Heather Webber novels! I was so excited to read her latest and it did not disappoint. 

Ava is a young woman who has travelled to Driftwood, Alabama from Ohio to interview for a job as caretaker to a man who needs some help at home. It's a huge step for Ava, as all her life she's been protected and fussed over after being diagnosed with epilepsy as a child. One serious seizure came with an unexpected gift:  Ava's senses of smell and hearing are amplified way beyond what a normal human can sense. 

Ava's also got another reason to travel to Driftwood: her ex-boyfriend has recently died and this is his hometown. She's convinced he's instrumental in guiding her to Driftwood.

Maggie is a late 30's woman who runs the Magpie coffee shop in town--it's the heartbeat of the town, where locals and tourists gather every day for gossip and coffee. Maggie's life has been spent in Driftwood and since her mother disappeared years before, she's just waiting for her mother to come back; keeping the coffee shop just as her mother ran it. Her father, Dez, has been acting out of character lately, and rumors are swirling he's going to sell the coffee shop. Maggie is devastated, and her father won't give her a straight answer.

Ava and Maggie have a lot in common, and chapters are told in either Ava's voice or Maggie's. There's so much packed in this gem of a book that it took me a bit to get all the characters straight--and there are so many delightful, unique characters. Driftwood is truly a magical place. 

Butterflies, the ocean, sea glass, baked goods, and a special collection of things meant just for that special person are all bits and pieces of the magic that makes this novel work. Relationships grow and blossom; some even get a fresh start. Grief takes a turn, as well as letting go and starting anew. It's the best kind of book-one that made me sigh happily as I finished the last page. It will make you long for an ocean breeze and a sandy beach. 

This novel is out in the U.S. on August 1st in hardcover, audio, and ebook. 

A big thank you to Forge Books (Tor Publishing Group) for a chance to read this ahead of publication. If you haven't read Heather Webber, you're in for a treat. 

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