Book Title: Of Literature and Lattes
Author: Katherine Reay
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Published Date: May 12, 2020
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 3 stars
I’m beginning to think I should really make a note when I add a selection to “Want to Read” within Good Reads of how the book arrived on the list. I suspect “Of Literature and Lattes” was on a summer reading list…a light read. I heard about Katherine Reay’s other novel, “The Printed Letter Bookshop” set in Winsome, Illinois, but going against my usual penchant for reading in chronological order I picked up the latest first.
Within the first couple of chapters, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the TV show “Hart of Dixie,” which is set in Bluebell, Alabama. Why? Well both settings are in small towns where everyone knows gossip immediately. There’s a town square and a Main Street populated with mom and pop stores. Townsfolk are there to help each other out whatever the situation.
Winsome does have some interesting characters who are both welcoming and off-putting all at the same time. Alyssa returns to her hometown with her tail between her legs. You see she left Winsome shortly after discovering her mom was cheating on her dad. She hightailed it clear across the country to Palo Alto in order to take a geeky job with a start-up company. Unfortunately, the company is being investigated by the FBI for its unethical practices and hence the prompt for her pilgrimage back to Winsome.
Then there’s Jeremy who makes his way from Seattle to be closer to his daughter. He buys out the much-loved local coffee shop owner, renovates the Daily Grind and reopens with Andante with a somewhat lukewarm reception.
The plot of “Of Literature and Lattes” moves along with its foundation in deep interpersonal relationships replete with conflict and stress. Without giving too much away, mother-daughter relationships spanning generations plays a major role along with what it truly means to be a father.
I have to say that this novel was a quite satisfying read…although the end was left a little up in the air. Perhaps it was Katherine Reay’s intention to easily allow for another sequel. I will definitely make sure to go back in time and read “The Printed Letter Bookshop,” which might assist in clearing up some ambiguities.