Christmas at the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley

christmas-at-the-cat-cafe

My grateful thanks to Jess Duffy at MacMillan for an advanced reader copy of Christmas at the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley in return for an honest review. Christmas at the Cat Cafe will be published by Macmillan in e-book and hardback on 20th October 2016 and is available from a variety of retailers by following the publisher links.

Christmas at the Cat Cafe

christmas-at-the-cat-cafe

The Costwolds’ town of Stourton-on-the-Hill has its very own cat café. Resident cat Molly, and her kittens, live here in feline paradise, while owner Debbie serves the locals home-made goodies. But even in the most idyllic surroundings, things don’t always go to plan . . .

When Debbie’s heartbroken sister Linda arrives at the café, Debbie insists she move in. But Linda is not alone, and the cats are devastated with the arrival of Linda’s dog, Beau. Sadly, Beau’s arrival is not the only bombshell – now Molly’s home is also under threat when a rival cat moves in on her turf.

With Christmas approaching, Molly is unsettled, barely roused by the promise of tinsel to play with. Fearing for her feline family she hopelessly stares out of the café window searching for an answer. Only a Christmas miracle could bring everyone together . . .

My Review of Christmas at the Cat Cafe

When Debbie’s prickly sister, Linda, arrives from her broken marriage at Molly’s, the cat cafe, life is about to be disrupted for everyone, both human and feline.

I am an obsessive cat lover and with a character as my namesake I was really looking forward to Christmas at the Cat Cafe but I have to be honest and say I was slightly disappointed. It might be that I have just read two Christmas books that I felt were stunning, or it might be because I haven’t read the first of the books, Molly and the Cat Cafe, but I struggled to engage emotionally with the story, despite its absolutely fabulous cover. I felt I had to make a conscious effort willingly to suspend my disbelief at the anthropamorphic first person feline narrator. Perhaps wrongly, I kept thinking of hygiene and I found I couldn’t set aside my prejudiced attitude to cats in a cafe, even though I know there are establishments like that. I also thought that maybe Christmas at the Cat Cafe would be better suited to a younger audience, making a great present for a KS2 or 3 reader.

However, although that sounds quite critical, I did think Christmas at the Cat Cafe would be a wonderful read for others. It is well written and soundly plotted with a full and varied exploration of emotions and family relationships – it’s just I would have liked those relationships to have been more weighted towards the humans in the story. The narrative is heartwarming and cosy so that those looking for a feel-good read will love it.

The cat characters are incredibly well presented. I could recognise at behaviour and attitudes that I have witnessed in my own cats extremely well. Any cat lover would find resonances there that they’d really enjoy.

Christmas at the Cat Cafe will be a lovely read for the right reader and I did enjoy it but not as much as I had hoped.

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