I have returned to bring you my stop on the blog tour for “The Goodbye Café,” the final installment in Mariah Stewart’s Hudson Sisters trilogy. This blog tour is hosted by Simon and Schuster’s Gallery Books.
Many thanks to Hannah Payne, associate publicist for Gallery Books, for inviting me to participate!
THE GOODBYE CAFÉ
The Hudson Sisters series, Book 3
On sale March 26, 2019
Trade Paperback • Price: $16.00 • ISBN: 9781501145124
eBook • Price: $7.99 • ISBN: 9781501145162
“‘Here’s to the Hudsons. To those who came before us and those who will carry the family forward into the future. We’ve a proud heritage, girls, and I’m proud to see you each living up to it. To the Sugarhouse, her glorious past. May she be equally glorious in the years to come.'”
The Hudson Sisters trilogy wraps up with a focus on Allie. This “snarky diva” is waiting for the day she and her sisters Cara and Des finish renovating the Sugarhouse Theatre — a clause in their father’s will — so she can move back to L.A. and what is left of the life she knew there before her divorce. Allie’s sweet, enthusiastic teen daughter Nikki returns to Hidden Falls for the summer and is delighted when Aunt Barney announces she’s bought the Goodbye Café to help out a friend in a pinch. Allie is less than thrilled. It’s not like the Sugarhouse isn’t keeping them busy already. Now she’s been “voluntold” to help run the café.
But as work on the Sugarhouse draws to a close, and as Cara and Des make some serious plans to put down roots in Hidden Falls, Allie finds herself dreading the day she has to go back to the West Coast. It doesn’t help matters that Nikki, who’s disenchanted with her life in California, is begging her mom to let her stay …
I read and reviewed the first book in the trilogy, “The Last Chance Matinee,” in 2017 for a blog tour when I was still book blogging like a madwoman. Part 2, “The Sugarhouse Blues,” languished in my Kindle for the past year and I regret that I wound up bowing out of the blog tour for that one. I’m back on board for “The Goodbye Café” and feeling like I neglected some very dear friends in Hidden Falls. In “The Sugarhouse Blues,” we saw Allie shed a bit of that prickly exterior but there was still a lot of work to be done. By the end of the trilogy, the taming of the shrew is complete and it’s a beautiful transformation that doesn’t seem forced or fake. Nikki brings out the best in her mom, and so does “Sheriff” Ben Haldeman!
As the product of a small town, I could relate to a lot of the everyday life-type scenes and the simplicity and slower pace. I was on a bit of a time crunch to finish the book, as I have plans with my own mom this weekend that will make it hard for me to do my blogging on Saturday as scheduled. I may someday come back to this trilogy so I can really soak in the atmosphere. I’ve been through a lot recently, and I normally enjoy more “gritty” books, so any chance I get to read something that’s softer around the edges feels like a nice escape.
There were moments in the book where I did a mental eye-roll, thinking, “I know where this is going.” And I was often correct. Somehow, though, Mariah Stewart managed to deliver some curveballs into the overall plot that I hadn’t anticipated. Again, though, when my brain is tired from dealing with my line of work and certain personal issues, a bit of predictability is welcome.
One of my dearest book-loving friends enjoys what she calls “Calgon-take-me-away” novels, and that is exactly what the Hudson Sisters trilogy offers. I’m missing my friends in Hidden Falls already.
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About the author
Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens while she works on her next novel. Visit her website at MariahStewart.com, like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram @Mariah_Stewart_Books.