When a damaged young woman is given a chance to reclaim her life in a small South Carolina town, she must reckon with the dark secrets she left behind in order to accept the love she deserves.
On the run from a violent past, Leah Allen arrived in tiny Rivertown, South Carolina, battered and broken, but ready to reinvent herself. By a stroke of fate, Leah is drawn to the Southern hospitality of a small café, looking for a warm meal but finding so much more. Lulu, the owner, offers her a job, a place to stay and a new lease on life. Through Lulu’s tenacious warmth and generosity, Leah quickly finds herself embraced by the quaint community as she tries to put herself back together. Given she’s accustomed to cruelty, the kindness is overwhelming.
Soon Leah meets Crowley Mason, the most eligible bachelor in town. A lawyer and friend of Lulu’s, Crowley is wary of Leah’s sudden, mysterious arrival. Despite his reserve, something sparks between them that can’t be denied. But after all she’s been through, can Leah allow herself to truly love and be loved, especially when her first urge is to run?
Exploring the resiliency of both the heart and the spirit, Lulu’s Café gorgeously illustrates how old scars can finally heal no matter how deep they seem.
Y’all, here is one of my top favorite authors ever! I discovered Ms. Lowe a few years ago when I read Lulu’s Cafe as an Indie published book. I have since read it countless times. It was one of the first contemporary Christian fiction books I had read where I felt like an author had done “real” and done it in a way that truly showed the gritty reality that life sometimes is. Her writing is some of the most grippingly real and honest I’ve read. She’s not afraid to address some of the deepest hurts we might face in this life. There’s no playing down of that pain, but she also shows a real and lasting hope with each of her books.
Just as Ms. Lowe is one of my top favorite authors, Lulu’s Cafe is one of my top favorite books. Because Ms. Lowe doesn’t hesitate to show the raw reality of life, the abominable evil that exists that many have to face, there are portions of this book that are devastatingly hard to read. They hurt. But they are some of the most real moments I think I’ve ever read in fiction. Be prepared for your heart to break. It’s a tough read at points, but there’s a beautiful peace and a hope filled joy by the end. It’s a story that will touch you in the deepest of places.
This real, raw grit of life accompanied by a quiet, but powerful beauty of healing and restoration points to something only God can do. He’s a master of redeeming the pain and the hurts this broken life on earth deals out. His power to do so, as well as His tender love as He does it, is clearly shown in this book.
Leah is a woman who is truly strong. What she survives and endures is horrifying. And yet, she does indeed survive, and God directs her steps to the place where she can finally find what home, family, and love really mean.
Crowley Mason gives heart melting new meaning. The way that he takes care of Lulu and so many others around him is quintessential southern gentleman. How he comes to care for, reach out to, and fight for Leah and their relationship is heart capturing and satisfying to the soul.
And then there’s Lulu. Lulu is discerning. And wise. And the kind of love that is both tough and gentle at the same time. She’s a true treasure. (I’ve shared several “Luluisms” in my quote graphics. Luluism = wise words from Lulu.)
In the midst of all the pain and the hurt, Ms. Lowe provides us with some real southern fun and humor and I love the voice that adds to the story.
While I have found other authors out there who write “real” and do it well, Ms. Lowe has a unique voice to hers that I haven’t found anywhere else. She does real without glossing it over, showing the far reaching consequences of the evil that exists in this world. But she also demonstrates the beautiful restoration that God can bring about in a life, changing devastation to hope and the ashes of this broken world to something beautiful.
PS: I do feel like I should add that some of the events in this book could be a trigger for victims of abuse, so please proceed with caution if that’s you and you choose to read this book.
PPS: If you’d like to know a little bit more about Ms. Lowe, I did an Author Spotlight with her a couple of years ago and you can check that out here if you’d like. Oh and don’t forget to check out the Giveaway Info down below!
PPPS: Think you might be interested in this book for you book club? (It is most definitely a book that has lots of discussion worthy material.) Here’s an awesome Book Club Kit Ms. Lowe has for it!
**I previously purchased this an Indie published book and again as traditionally published book. But I also received a complimentary copy of Lulu’s Cafe from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
More of My Favorite Quotes:
Check out Celebrate Lit’s Celebration Tour for Lulu’s Cafe here. You’ll find an excerpt from the book and a giveaway for a paperback copy of Lulu’s Cafe and a $25 Amazon gift card. (Just so you know—if you decide to enter the giveaway, comments on my blog post do not count as entries since I am not a part of the tour. You’re more than welcome to comment here. Just make sure you also comment on the posts that are actually a part of the tour to get those entries in the giveaway.)