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Review by Suze
Jen has waited many years for Tim to propose and when they are celebrating her birthday at a nice restaurant with a bottle of champagne she thinks it's finally going to happen. Unfortunately Tim breaks up with her instead. After this horrible incident it takes Jen quite some time to get back on her feet and she isn't quite there yet when her sister Jody asks her to accompany her to Switzerland, where they will work and have a great time together with Jody's friends. Her opinion is that Jen shouldn't give Tim the power to ruin her birthday and subsequently Christmas for her forever. There's one minor issue, Jody is still in her twenties and she's a lot younger than Jen. Does Jen still know what it's like to have fun again?
Jen's stay in the Alps isn't without accidents and blundering. When she meets Jon, a handsome local who works as a ski instructor Jen thinks her clumsiness has ruined her chances before she even properly got to know him, but to her surprise he keeps coming back and they get along well. Life is never perfect though. Will Jen be able to accept that and live with whatever fate has in store for her?
Jen is a planner. She wants to have total control and she always tries to fill in details she can't know before anything is even about to happen. She meticulously schedules her life and needs to be saved from becoming an old spinster with just a cat as her company. Jody is lively and cheerful and she manages to bring her sister out of her shell. Jen and Jody are both sweethearts who love each other very much. Their past was difficult, but now they're more than sisters, they're good friends too. I love books about close sister relationships and this one is absolutely wonderful.
Jody and Jen are different and sometimes the usually carefree Jody can be really wise. Jen's relationship with Tim damaged her self-esteem and she wasted her best years on someone who didn't love her enough to make her dreams come true. While being in Switzerland Jen finds herself again and I enjoyed watching her heal. It's time for necessary personal growth and Jen does this with both tears and hilarity. She parties with her sister and asks her for advice, but she also learns to stay true to herself, which is a beautiful message from Sue Watson to her readers.
The Christmas Cake Café is an incredibly funny book. I laughed out loud multiple times and love Sue Watson's sense of humor. She combines it with a winter wonderland and an amazing festive atmosphere. I love it when a Christmas story us uplifting and joyful and Sue Watson is a master of this skill. I admire her main characters, who are always doing many things that are out of their comfort zone, which leads to unexpected twists and turns. I enjoy being surprised and Sue Watson manages to do this repeatedly. It's entertaining and I think it's fabulous that her stories are both lighthearted and powerful at the same time while there's still a nice amount of depth. I highly recommend all of her Christmas stories and The Christmas Cake Café is no exception. It's a terrific heartwarming book that put a huge smile on my face.