When I start reading a new book there are a couple of things that have to happen in order for me to one: start reading the book, and two: continue reading the book. The cover of the book is not always important for me but I do love a cover that captures my eye and I sit back and say "oh now that's a beautiful cover" but sometimes I find a cover of a book so beautiful or interesting it can be the only reason I get it and happy I did because it turns out it was an amazing book, but, sometimes that also back fires on me as well. Also if I can't get past the first 2 - 3 chapters most of the time I will put the book aside for a bit but I will always pick it up at a later time, I NEVER not finish a book, it's kind of like a "B" movie, ya just gotta find out what happens at the end of it lol.
Hannah Tunnicliffe has done both, created a beautiful cover very fitting for this book and I had absolutely no problem getting past the first 2 - 3 chapters, in fact the very first chapter had me captured and happily reading and not wanting to put it down at all. Now I'm not sure if you all know this about me, but some of my love's are food lol (who's isnt), a great book, and travelling (which I never get to do). I have always been very interested in Asian culture, it's beauty, serinity, work ethic, respectfulness, lanuage, their love of family, it is a place I have always wanted to travel to. Hannah's detailed descriptions of not only the character's she has created but the cafe Grace has built right down to Macau, China made me feel like I was right there in the story. I could see, feel, hear, and smell everything she was describing, some books go overboard with the details so much that it leaves nothing to the imagination, that was not the case here.
I have to say for a debut novel Hannah has come out with a huge bang! I really loved this book, it is an easy read as the story flows with all the right elements in all the right places. The characters, oh how I loved them all, I made a connection with all of them from Grace to Rilla, Gigi and Marjory and Gigi's grandmother Yok Lan. Grace started out as a weak character but given her current circumstances you understand why, and I really don't think it was that she was weak as much as it was she just didn't understand how to break away from her sadness the was overtaking her. Once Grace decided to open the cafe and the others entered her life that's when the cloud started to lift from Grace's life and eye's.
This was a fabulous story, a great plot and ending, it made me smile, laugh out loud, even tear up at times, it was emotional and I think throughout the book we could at some point relate in someway to what Grace was either going through for feeling. It made me not want the story to end, it would be great to have a second book years later to see how things turned out for all of them. Bravo Hannah, Bravo, a wonderful debut novel and I can't wait to read more from you. I highly recommend this book and hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Enjoy!!!