Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmas at the Cat Café by Melissa Daley

Reviewed by Jeanne

After a rough patch in life (as recounted in Molly and theCat Café), life has become sweet for Molly and her kittens.  She loves living with her human Debbie in the cat café, a novelty in the Cotswolds, and her five kittens are growing up into beautiful cats.  Even Jasper, the handsome tuxedo street cat who is the kittens’ father, has begun to come inside and enjoy the benefits of a home.

Into this picture of domestic bliss comes a storm in the form of Debbie’s sister Linda who has had a spat with her husband and decides to move in with Debbie.  Linda has brought along her dog, much to Molly’s horror, and proceeds to try to rearrange things to her liking.  She even decides to “help” at the café and brings in an aloof Siamese to draw in trade, the exotic cat being ever so much better than Molly and her kittens who are just “moggies.”

It’s not only the human family that is fracturing—there are spats and upsets in Molly’s own.  Will the families ever reconcile?

This is a lovely little holiday read with just the right amount of sweetness and frustration.  Molly is a delight, a wise little cat trying to understand the ways of humans and to look out for those she loves.  Debbie is a good person who tries to make peace with everyone:  her rather sullen teenage daughter, her shopaholic, self-centered sister, etc., at the expense of her own happiness. Debbie’s boyfriend Jim is being crowded out of her life and even the success of the café seems shabby under Linda’s scrutiny. 

The distinctly British setting is a plus for me, as is the way the book is resolved. This isn’t to say that all returns to the status quo but the ending was satisfying.

I finished the book with a happy sigh, and wished there was another to read.  I like spending time with Molly and family—both human and feline.

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