The Goodbye Cafe
by Mariah Stewart
Release Date: March 26, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Book #3 of the Hudson Sisters series
Number of pages: 384
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Chick Lit/Contemporary Fiction
Read 3/20/19 to 3/22/19
California girl Allie Hudson Monroe can’t wait for the day when the renovations on the Sugarhouse Theater are complete so she can finally collect the inheritance from her father and leave Pennsylvania. After all, her life and her fourteen-year-old daughter are in Los Angeles.
But Allie’s divorce left her tottering on the edge of bankruptcy, so to keep up on payments for her house and her daughter’s private school tuition, Allie packed up and flew out east. But fate has a curve-ball or two to toss in Allie’s direction—she just doesn’t know it yet.
She hadn’t anticipated how her life would change after reuniting with her estranged sister, Des, or meeting her previously unknown half-sister, Cara. And she’d certainly never expected to find small-town living charming. But the biggest surprise was that her long-forgotten artistry would save the day when the theater’s renovation fund dried up.
With opening day upon the sisters, Allie’s free to go. But for the first time in her life, she feels like the woman she was always meant to be. Will she return to the West Coast and resume her previous life, or will the love of “this amazing, endearing family of women” (Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author) be enough to draw her back to the place where the Hudson roots grow so deep?
When I reviewed the first book of this series, The Last Chance Matinee, I said Allie started off as the character I sympathized with the most but ended up really disliking. We watched her grow emotionally quite a bit during this series so far. By the middle of this one I was all Team Allie once again. She stopped feeling sorry for herself and pulled herself up out of her destructive cycle she had been on there for a while.
I may not have been an Allie fan for much of the series so far, but I could always feel the chemistry between her and Ben. Let me say, I do not classify this as a romance because this is really so much more about Allie and her daughter than it is about Allie and Ben. Yet it does have definite romance interspersed throughout the book and I love that Ben and Allie find a way to see past their bitterness and acknowledge their deeper connection.
So many things happen with Allie’s daughter Nikki and I love how they are addressed. Nikki is such a strong and bold personality, but even strong kids can have moments of uncertainty…especially when there are other people spurring those doubts on and overall being terrible friends. I wanted to scream and shake some sense into Nikki’s dad, but I also appreciated the author writing this as reality instead of a perfect dream world. At least for much of the story.
Many mysteries from the previous books are resolved in this story. But just as the sisters think they have it all figured out, a new bit of history comes to light and shocks them all. Which, if the end of this story is anything to go on, will mean at least one more book in this series. Yay! I just adore the relationships in this series, especially between all the women.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**