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Reader Reviewed
The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse

The Christmas Cafe

Romantic Fiction   Relationship Stories   
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The Christmas Cafe is a perfect Christmas treat, with some unexpected and surprising stops along the way. In the prologue, 52 year old Bea sits beside her husband’s hospital bed, saying her final goodbye, I will admit, as I had a little weep, that I wondered where Christmas was hiding. A year later, Bea continues to run her quirky cafe in Sydney and as Christmas approaches, she ponders lost loves and her distant relationship with her son, before making a decision that has the potential to add some spice to the festive period. Amanda Prowse has a gift of being able to explore difficult situations with beautiful sensitivity, you sense and feel her empathy and compassion. There is a realistic and natural tone to the storyline, yet there is a lightness of touch that keeps this tale feeling fresh and enjoyable. Full of charm, emotion and Christmas spirit, with hidden delights to savour, this is a lovely hug of a read. ~ Liz Robinson

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

I love the way that Amanda Prowse's stories explore difficult themes, but always leave you feeling warm and glowing at the end. The Christmas Cafe is no exception. In this story, our heroine Bea must come to terms with both the death of her husband, and the difficult relationship she has with her grown-up son. Her very moving personal journey takes place in two mouthwatering settings - an organic deli in Sydney (which serves the best lemon-frosted carrot cake in the city), and the Christmas Cafe in Edinburgh, where it is Christmas all year round. This book cannot fail to fill you with warmth, happiness and Christmas cheer – though you might shed a tear or two along the way.

~ Laura Palmer, Editorial Director, Head of Zeus

If you like Amanda Prowse you might also like to read books by Jodi Picoult, Dorothy Koomson and Andy McNab.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Barbara Goldie - 'Put this on your Christmas list, perfect for the time of year, nostalgia and true escapism.  Grab the tissues and curl up with a quick easy read. Join Bea on her journey, you will not regret it.'
  • Judith Waring - 'What a really lovely story this is and so easy to read...It’s totally absorbing, warm, comforting and a real pleasure to read and I'll be looking forward to passing this on to friends and family to read too.'
  • Humaira Kauser - 'Festive. Beautiful. Heart-warming.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'A lovely warm hearted tale about true love and how two people eventually find each other from the opposite ends of the earth.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'A story of lost love which captures snowy Edinburgh and Sydney cafe-culture perfectly. This is a lovely, peaceful, pre-Christmas read with delightful characters.'
  • Angela Rhodes - 'This is the first Amanda Prowse book I have read, I am sorry to say, but it will not be the last.  It is the perfect Christmas book.'
  • Emily Curnow - 'This novel fulfills every expectation offered by its title. It is a nostalgic, feel good story, set during the festive season.'
  • Julie Bickerdyke - 'The over-riding message of this lovely book is that 'Life is for the brave', which is a great message and it's lovely that the book has a message.'
  • Maureen Gourlay - 'Really engaging story and nice to have a “mature" heroine in this genre.  Bea, a widow, finds her life perhaps is not as over as she thought. Will make great Xmas gifts!'
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'It was an enjoyable escapist novel with a feel good factor that left me with a smile on my face.  I think many people would be the same.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I closed this book with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my belly and I would recommend this to anyone who needs a book to get them in the mood for Christmas.'
  • Dana Captainino - 'This is a nice easy read and focuses on a fantasy or a reality that many people have contemplated.  The revisiting of a past romance - a one true love.'
  • Emily Wright - 'Ideal for winter evenings curled up in front of the fire; a big hearted festive read which perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'A wonderful festive story for Christmas.'
  • Susan Mooney - 'Love, Loss & Family is what it's all about. From sunny Oz to the grey, bleak cold Edinburgh winter, where love really does shine through.'
  • Margaret Madden - 'A charming, festive read which balances grief with hope, while showing that there can be new beginnings, whatever age you are.'
  • Isobel Finbow - 'What a treat. Totally absorbing. A book is not just for Christmas!'


The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse

Bea is fifty three, and she's just lost her husband after thirty years of marriage. To distract herself from grief, she throws herself into her work running the Reservoir Street Kitchen in one of Sydney's most fashionable districts. But then an email from a cafe-owner in Edinburgh prompts her to take a trip to Scotland in the depths of winter. Her journey will be one of self-discovery, as she is drawn back to a secret past - and a secret love - that she has tried to forget. Set between Sydney and Edinburgh at Christmas, this is a story of family ties, lost love, and the power of the past. PREVIOUS BOOKS: POPPY DAY WHAT HAVE I DONE CLOVER'S CHILD A LITTLE LOVE WILL YOU REMEMBER ME? A MOTHER'S STORY PERFECT DAUGHTER


'A heartwarming novel to read in the run-up to Christmas - hot, balmy beaches to herald the festive season on one side of the world, and light dustings of snow on the other side'

. 'There's no shortage of books with Christmas in the title, but this family-focused story stands out from the rest

. 'What a really lovely story this is and so easy to read ... It's totally absorbing, warm, comforting and a real pleasure to read
Judith Waring, Lovereading

. 'A story of lost love which captures snowy Edinburgh and Sydney cafe-culture perfectly. This is a lovely, peaceful, pre-Christmas read with delightful characters
Sarah Harper, Lovereading


About the Author

Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. She is also the author of Poppy Day (Head of Zeus, 2012). She lives in the West Country with her husband Simeon, a soldier, and their two sons.

Author photo © Paul Smith Photography

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd October 2015


Amanda Prowse

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Head of Zeus


368 pages


Romantic Fiction
Relationship Stories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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