The Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1) by Brenda Bevan Remmes

The Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1)

When Liz Hoole, a free-spirited liberal from the Midwest, marries into a conservative Quaker family, she knows that raising children in compliance with Quaker values will be challenging. Twenty-five years later, she still feels like she’s falling short of expectations. Fortunately, her faith and her friends in the small, rural North Carolina town of Cedar Branch keep her strong.After her best friend’s politically powerful father dies, Liz stu...

Details The Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1)

TitleThe Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1)
Release DateSep 16th, 2014
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Mystery, American, Southern

Reviews The Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1)

  • Kate
    To those who've written about the author's ability to capture a sense of the South, I say: read Flannery O'Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, or Horton Foote. This book lacked the gravitas, the angst, the humid wrestling with morality that epitomizes the South. While entertaining enough for a bathtub read, the story was not engrossing. Perhaps that was due to the author's tendency -- shared by far too many modern authors -- to tell, rather than show ...
  • Hilary
    From the very first line, you're drawn into this wonderfully touching story of a small town filled with quiet kindnesses and long-harbored grievances. As characters note, religion and race may not be mentioned but they're the filter through which all life is viewed, making some issues quite touchy.The author manages to inject humor into social customs, primarily through using an outsider to point out the idiosyncrasies, but still displays a sense...
  • Susan
    THE QUAKER CAFE is a very quick and enjoyable read. I learned a lot of interesting things about the South and The Quakers. I loved the plot, characters, and setting, and once I started reading, it was very hard to stop. I want to find my own Cedar Branch, North Carolina and find a cafe there where everyone knows everyone else. As you are reading, you will find yourself laughing and shaking your head, and feeling a tug at your heart all the while,...
  • Bridget Peck
    DullThis book barely held my interest. It took seemingly forever to get to anything resembling a plot and by then I just wanted to get through it. There were a handful of witty lines and clever turns of phrase that made me think perhaps the author's next effort might be better.
  • Kim
    This was an enjoyable read. I learnt a lot about the South and Quakers. I love books set in small US towns!Liz married into a Quaker family and sometimes feels she isn’t really the ‘perfect quaker’ mum. She discovers some secrets throughout the course of the book which make you wonder what other things remain uncovered.The neighbours all meet at the Quaker café- and gossip uncovers more details that trouble Liz.Humour runs throughout the b...
  • Swanbender2001
    I was surprised by this story; went into it expecting read about the trials of merging with a conservative Quaker family but found much more. I enjoyed the characters we meet and their relationships; the tests they are put through and how well they stand against them. I am looking forward to our discussion.
  • Tamica
    One of the worst books I have ever read in my entire lifeI don't even know where to start. This book got so many five-star reviews. I feel completely misled. I felt like the main character was an entitled person with her head in the clouds that I most certainly cannot relate to. I was really excited too learned about Quaker culture but this ended up being nothing but a white people against black people fantasy land piece of poo. No one was realis...
  • Marleen
    What an unexpected heart-wrenching and enjoyable read the Quaker Café turned out to be! I especially liked the fact that the main character, Liz Hoole had a solid marriage (How I liked Chase Hoole!), and that the major plot of the story revolved around an injustice that happened 56 years ago.The backdrop is a North-Carolina small town called Cedar Branch, where religious affiliation seemed to define who you are. Although let it be said that the ...
  • Noriko
    I am a bit disappointed with this book; I did enjoy the story most of the time, but the ending kind of fell flat for me. More thoughts on this book can be read at
  • Julia Ibbotson
    Initially attracted by the lovely cosy cover (!), I "sort of" enjoyed the novel, in a way, although it was a little slow in places. However, the reflective pace was in keeping with the Quaker background and I found it a peaceful and graceful read for the first part. A little mystery, a little intrigue and set within the conflicts of the South at a time of racial unease. However, secrets, lies and deceptions bubble beneath the surface for the char...
  • Bernie
    The Quaker Cafe is the story of three friends who live in Cedar Branch, a small Southern town full of all the craziness we have come to expect from small Southern towns. In the opening chapters, the reader is caught between laughter and tears when, at the funeral of a prominent citizen, the conservative white minister finds himself in an unexpected duet with the black gospel choir, especially the drummer. Remmes gets the timing of this scene so p...
  • maggie
    No one would be interested to read how I spend my days. Today it rained and I was glad on behalf of my plants. This book is packed with nicely described ho-humness. Some interesting Quaker bits.
  • Heather
    It took me awhile to figure out who all the characters were, but I loved the story once I got into it. One of those tear-jerkers! You've been warned ;-)
  • Jennifer
    I just wasn't feeling this one. At first I thought this was Maggie's story since everything seems to be happening to her, but it is really the story of her best friend, Liz, and how she reacts to everything going on in Maggie's life. At the beginning, Maggie's father dies. He was a well respected judge in a small racially-charged community. In her time of grief, Maggie tries to bring together the white and black communities within the town. Unfor...
  • Barbara
    One of the dullest books I've read in a long time, which is only saved from zero or one stars by an interesting racial tension sub-plot. Took an incredibly long time for any kind of plot to get going, filled with characters that I struggled to care about in the slightest, and just very very dull. I had to force myself to stick with it and I'm horrified at the thought that this is only the first in the series. What WILL she find to bang on about i...
  • Elisabeth Bibbings
    Don't expect this book to be about a cafe! Although it is a meeting place for the community, it doesn't feature hugely. This is a brave book about race relations in the 20th century, about different faith communities, and about the part faith has to play in building bridges and enabling us to confront injustices from the past. I thought the denouement was well handled, and wish I knew a Reverend Broadnax! I learned a lot about traditional Quakeri...
  • Virginia
    Not fast paced but enjoyable. I did have several laugh out loud moments - one in middle of night as I was reading. My husband thought I was crazy. The relationships are really good.
  • Emma
    A forgettable readI've given this a 2 as I did manage to plough to the end rather than giving up. So this story centres on a Quaker wife, her in-laws and cancer suffering BFF and an epic bout of shagging around 50 years before that's left a few hidden children hanging around and an unfortunate racially driven injustice.The problem for me was not so much the plot but the characters. I simply didn't care about them. The main character, Liz, came ac...
  • Jean
    I was intrigued by the title “The Quaker Café” and wondered what it might be about. This is a first novel by a Brenda Bevan Remmes who is an experienced magazine writer.The story is about three friends who live in a small southern town. There is Billie and husband Gill who had moved to town ten years ago from New York City. The second friend is Maggie Kendall whose father is the Judge. The Judge dies in the story and is the catalyst for the ...
  • Rebecca Jaramillo
    I listened to this book when I had a lot of driving. A tad simplistic, it moved between genres. The plot and "message" couldn't make up it's mind what to be. There was a whole chapter on shopping for a dress, a wife getting frisky in a bathtub while her sports crazy husband was watching a game and then other scenes that made it seem like a moral tale about racial tensions in a small southern town or an emotional tale about friendship. There were ...
  • Susan
    I loved the twists and turns in this book as the reader is taken on a journey through small town North Carolina. The town and story addresses the Quaker tradition along with racial tension, how the past can impact the present, skeletons in the closet, small town living and what happens when they all collide. I found myself laughing out loud at times and then quickly absorbed in the drama of the character's lives. One reviewer wrote, "Probably one...
  • Stacy
    I won this book as a FirstRead.Liz Poole moved from St. Paul, Minnesota to the small town of Cedar Branch, North Carolina shortly after marrying her husband 25 years ago. Along the way, she has become good friends with Meg and Billie, who share a lot of her views. At the beginning of the book, Meg's father, a prominent judge in Cedar Branch, dies while eating dinner at the Quaker Cafe. Bit by bit through the story, Liz starts to learn a secret fr...
  • Jess
    I hope your real life is more eventful than this fiction... on several occasions I felt that putting down the book would be much more interesting than another page. It is the kind of book I believe anyone could write with time and effort. The writer probably quite enjoyed the process and maybe she has a following amongst little old ladies in care homes. the characters were luke warm and the plot chuntered along predictably and innocuously. I foun...
  • Bubble Bath Books
    Sissy: Author Brenda Bevan Remmes served up some good old Southern plot twists a la John Grisham and bam-- it had me good from there. Not that this book is in the same genre as a John Grisham--more like if a John Grisham and Fannie Flagg had a baby and it was this book.Bubby: I have two big issues with Quaker Cafe. First is that there are so many plot twists that I’m having a hard time writing a review without giving away any spoilers! I keep w...
  • Nenette
    Interspersed with light humor, The Quaker Cafe is actually a serious story about the conflict between telling the truth or causing tremendous hurt. It is a hard decision for anybody, and most especially for a Quaker. The theme of small town secrets may be what's in the base of the novel. However, family love and the sense of community are the more resounding in all of the messages that the story tells.This is Ms. Remmes debut novel, and she did w...
  • Cheryal
    I really loved this book. I chose it because I assumed it was about Quakers, so I thought I would shake it up a bit. It was about a town founded on Quakers, there were some descendants, but it was also about predjudices in a small town. Normally that is a turn off for me but this was done really well with a "who done it" to it. The women were sassy and the men were gentlemen. I laughed outloud several times and highlighted a lot. The ending is sp...
  • Genie
    I really liked this book about a small town and the relationships there among white and black communities and the religious communities- including a Quaker meeting (Conservative). Mostly about these relationships, the book moves slowly then more quickly at the end. But that doesn't mean boring. Of course, I particularly enjoyed the picture of contemporary, small town Quaker life. I had a hard time putting this book down, it was really engrossing ...
  • Roya
    This was a good book, but the characters did not take hold of me as much as I wanted them to. The depth was not consistently there. Nevertheless, it is a good and thought-provoking story, especially towards the end. I have to admit, that it still lingered with after I read the last page. That's a good thing.
  • Deborah
    This was an engaging read. The characters and situations were interesting, and the author did a nice job adding in some light humor to an essentially serious story. It was not quite as angst filled as some other books I have read with similar plot lines, but it was still an enjoyable and thoughtful book.
  • Kevin Allard
    An inspiring story relevant to todayWhen today's news speaks over and over about what separates us from each other, author Remmes reminds us of what it means to seek to understand, forgive and what is necessary to overcome that separation, regardless of the personal pain and cost.