Book number 56 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson.
When Connie discovers that Jimmy Diamond, her husband of more than twenty years, is planning to leave her for his office junior, her world is turned upside down. Determined to salvage her pride, she resolves to get her own back. Along with Della, Jimmy’s right-hand woman at his cleaning firm, Diamond Shine, and the cleaners who meet at the Sunflower Café, she’ll make him wish he had never underestimated her.
Then Connie meets the charming Brandon Locke, a master chocolatier, whose kindness starts to melt her soul. Can the ladies of the Sunflower Cafe help Connie scrub away the hurt? And can Brandon make her trust again? (Thanks Amazon)
So I picked up this novel expecting it to be about a community based around the Sunflower Cafe, but in all honesty it was actually about a cleaning firm. If I had really truly known that (I obviously did not read the blurb properly) then I probably would not have picked up this book – a cleaning firm just does not seem to be the most exciting of settings. However, if I had not picked up this book I would have been missing out. This novel is all about its characters, with Connie Diamond as our central character.
Connie is a stereotypical housewife, as seen through the eyes of a mistress. She is a frumpy Mum, someone who exists to look after her husband and ensure that he is happy. She looks after their home, working hard to ensure that Jimmy can work hard at the business.
Della is Jimmy’s right-hand woman at Diamond Shine, and has been in love with him since the moment she started working for him – something that Jimmy is very quick to exploit, despite knowing that his business cannot function without her.
Together, Connie and Della are a formidable force following the discovery that Jimmy is having an affair with the very demanding office junior, Ivanka. The affair is not the only discovery to be made by Connie, and fuelled by her anger, disappointment and grief she is compelled to take action against her lying, cheating husband.
This book is full of stereotypical characters – frumpy housewife, philandering husband, young demanding mistress and a bitter employee. I believe however that these characters are absolutely perfect for this novel. We follow Connie and Della as they both learn about themselves and each other, what they are capable of and what they can truly achieve if they are willing to work hard and accept nothing less than the best for themselves from life and relationships.
I really enjoyed following Connie on her journey of self-discovery (and who doesn’t love a bit of romance thrown in for a deserving character!), but I also enjoyed following Jimmy, a man who has clearly got himself in too deep with no way out.
This was a really enjoyable, easy-read piece of chick lit. It is a story all about friendship the importance of those friendships which I really enjoyed. I haven’t read anything by Milly Johnson before, but I have another couple of her books on my TBR list – I’m looking forward to diving in with them!
Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖