Coffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter
Published: May 26, 2011
Publisher: Katalina Playgroup
188 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Acquired this book: From the author, in exchange for an honest review
Warning: may include spoilers
Synopsis: Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh grew up in a small town where they spent their high school years together as an inseparable clique. But high school has ended, and they are all living their own “grown up” lives, each under the impression that their group has basically come to an end. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, Kaitlyn summons the others to all come back home, forcing a reunion that no one is particularly interested in partaking in.
follows how each character deals with the death of a childhood friend while at the same time dealing with their own ignored demons after years of separation. Events unfold as the group tries to rekindle the friendship they once shared to honour the memory of a friend they will never see again.
When Nadine emailed me at the beginning of July, her email alone would have made me review her book. She very nicely asked me if I’d be willing to review Coffee at Little Angels, told me she’d be happy to review my novel once it’s out, and mentioned what a good karma inducing act it would be to review her book. I couldn’t stop laughing, and I was immediately drawn in. I’m all about karma - as someone who hopes to go the indie publishing route, I can use all the good karma I can get!
What I thought of Coffee at Little Angels:
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fascinating, in-depth look into the lives of eight different characters, and the ways in which people deal with grief - sadness, anger, regret, indifference - and life in general.
I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this book, especially people in their 20s and beyond. For me, I had a group of friends who I went all through elementary and high school with and when we graduated, I was sure we’d be friends forever. In the optimism of youth, you don’t realize that people move away and move on with their lives, which is exactly what happened to me, and to the characters of Coffee at Little Angels. It's hard to go your separate ways thinking nothing will ever change, and then to be thrown together, expecting everything to be the same, but nothing - and no one - is the same, even you.
As adults, the group of friends is reunited, not my choice, but by the death of their mutual friend Phillip. They have to come to terms with their relationship with Phillip, and with each other. They’re basically strangers with a shared history and memories that have faded over time – or been purposely forgotten, in some cases. Now they have to learn about each other as adults, and what they discover about each other - and themselves - gives the reader an interesting, and very honest inside view at human nature, friendship and love.
Nadine’s characters are so real, I felt like I knew them. Throughout the story, we learn their passions, fears, insecurities, secrets, quirks. I love the way she describes them, and how deeply she delves into their personalities and shows what really makes them tick. It’s rare to find a book where we have the opportunity to learn so much not only about one, but eight characters.
Thought provoking, touching, heartbreaking, funny, and real, Coffee at Little Angels is a must-read.
Nadine has this to say about self-publishing, and it pretty much sums up how I feel:
“I chose to self publish simply because it feels like taking my future into my own hands and running with it. There are no excuses when it is just you. The self-accountability can be thrilling sometimes. Being ready and then actually being able to move forward instead of waiting to hear from publishers has been a special kind of blessing.”