Leaving the Comfort Cafe

Rated 3.88/5 based on 8 reviews
Blythe Shelley got a 1600 on her SAT and a full scholarship to Cornell University.
But she never went.Instead, she took a job as a waitress at the Comfort Cafe in Conyers, North Carolina... More

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Words: 61,460
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458031549
About Dawn DeAnna Wilson

Originally from Weaverville, a small town near Asheville, NC, she wrote her first story when she was five and her first poem was published when she was in 8th grade. In 1986, the
publication of her short story in Prism, a magazine for young authors, led to an appearance on "CBS Morning News."
Wilson earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied creative writing under authors Doris Betts and Bland Simpson. She won second place in the "Love Poetry" division of the NC Poetry Society's annual poetry competition.
She earned her master's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from
East Carolina University. She resides in Eastern North Carolina.

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Reviews

Review by: apbarry on July 29, 2011 :
I loaded this book on my Kindle before a trip to the beach. Being raised in a small town in NC, I loved reading about the host of characters, and found them familiar while still refreshingly new. I devoured this book, and wanted it to never end! I highly recommend this book to any one looking for a comfortable, but not too predictable read. Perfect for the beach, a relaxing weekend, or anytime. I look forward to more works from Dawn.
(reviewed 58 days after purchase)

Review by: Judy Cox on July 20, 2011 :
I trully enjoyed this book. I loved following the characters thru all their difficulties and happiness. The characters remind me of small town America!!
(reviewed 53 days after purchase)

Review by: Angi on July 06, 2011 :
Leaving the Comfort Cafe is a truly good story - funny at times, touching at others. You find yourself aching for them, wishing you could sit them down and talk to them, help the see their way. The story mimics Austin's imaginings of hero's and villains brought to real life, working through real circumstances.

THE GOOD: The story is warm, sometimes aching. The characters are not perfect - they are awkward, obnoxious, confused - woven together into a somewhat surreal world that works very well with Austin's comics.

THE BAD - It took me a bit to get into the book because the first few chapters ramble a bit, sometimes not really bringing a coherent picture of what is going on. Further into the novel, the writing does become solid with good flow. There are a lot of typing mistakes that a good proof-read (or spell check) should have caught that can be distracting, simply because they are numerous and sometimes require pulling out of the story to figure out the intended word.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the book to friends as the story is really good.

I would recommend to the author to have an editor proof-read the piece to help clean up both the technical mistakes and the early ramble that almost had me moving on to another book before I got caught in the story.
(reviewed 37 days after purchase)

Review by: Michele Stefanides on June 29, 2011 :
Leaving the Comfort Café is a sweet and touching story of self-forgiveness that leads to redemption and grace. Ms Wilson unfolds the story subtly, keeping the reader eager to know what the characters need forgiveness for, but making sure that we get to know the characters as real people first, not cardboard cutouts.
Austin Parker has brought his newly minted graduate degree in town management to the tiny North Carolina town of Conyers to be its new town manager. His first duty is to search a field next to the home of the “Snake Lady”, as she is called by the townspeople, to eradicate the infestation of snakes that she insists is there. Trouble is, there are no snakes. The Snake Lady doesn’t buy it, especially coming from a northern boy who obviously has no experience with snakes or their egg-laying habits.
At first blush, Austin seems like a typical meek, mild-mannered, somewhat nerdy thirty-something. His passion is drawing superhero cartoons, or what he calls a “graphic” novel. He is suffering the writer’s fate of collecting rejection after rejection for his work, and is starting to believe that at his age, he should just grow up and set aside what he now sees as a childish dream.
But Conyers, and Blythe Shelley in particular, will have none of it. Blythe is also on the face of it a typical character—a wise-cracking, sometimes crass, and pushy Southern girl who audaciously and relentlessly pulls Austin, kicking and screaming at first, out of his façade of typlicalness. Blythe is also running from herself and a past for which she cannot forgive herself.
Life is never as it seems, and typical often hides a person of depth and character that just needs someone to see and believe in what lies underneath the surface. Austin and Blythe do that for each other in sometimes hilarious and more often compassionate and loving ways.
The town is peopled with the expected Southern characters—a bombastic mayor, a wise and kind, but tough, town secretary named Queen, and an abrasive café owner/cook.
Austin’s transformation is demonstrated in his remark to his old girlfriend as she tries to win him back: “I’ve not changed…This is who I’ve always been. I’ve just never had the courage to show it to anyone. And no one ever had the patience to bring it out of me.”
Austin and Blythe undergo their transformations with love and patience from each other. Other townspeople go through their own transformations with some love and a kick in the pants from Blythe and Queen. The town is transformed to fulfill its potential as the charming southern town it once was.
I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of Austin and Blythe and their fellow neighbors from Conyers. Ms Wilson’s writing is clean and light-handed. She has quite a knack for bringing characters to life. As I read, I highlighted so many quotes from Austin, Queen, and most often, from Blythe. The characters are so real, I can imagine that when I walk from my house to the downtown of the Northern version of Conyers, I will meet the characters of Conyers along the way.
The story’s ending is somewhat expected, but don’t get complacent; Ms Wilson has a few surprises in store for us.
Thanks again to the Indie Book Collective. If not for the Blog Tour de Troops, I would never have found this delightful short work.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)

Review by: Alicia on June 18, 2011 :
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I read it in one afternoon because I really wanted to know how it ended!The protagonist reminds me of "Walter Mitty" with all of his daydreaming. A wonderful book!!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)

Review by: Michele Stefanides on June 01, 2011 :
Leaving the Comfort Café is a sweet and touching story of self-forgiveness that leads to redemption and grace. Ms Wilson unfolds the story subtly, keeping the reader eager to know what the characters need forgiveness for, but making sure that we get to know the characters as real people first, not cardboard cutouts.
Austin Parker has brought his newly minted graduate degree in town management to the tiny North Carolina town of Conyers to be its new town manager. His first duty is to search a field next to the home of the “Snake Lady”, as she is called by the townspeople, to eradicate the infestation of snakes that she insists is there. Trouble is, there are no snakes. The Snake Lady doesn’t buy it, especially coming from a northern boy who obviously has no experience with snakes or their egg-laying habits.
At first blush, Austin seems like a typical meek, mild-mannered, somewhat nerdy thirty-something. His passion is drawing superhero cartoons, or what he calls a “graphic” novel. He is suffering the writer’s fate of collecting rejection after rejection for his work, and is starting to believe that at his age, he should just grow up and set aside what he now sees as a childish dream.
But Conyers, and Blythe Shelley in particular, will have none of it. Blythe is also on the face of it a typical character—a wise-cracking, sometimes crass, and pushy Southern girl who audaciously and relentlessly pulls Austin, kicking and screaming at first, out of his façade of typlicalness. Blythe is also running from herself and a past for which she cannot forgive herself.
Life is never as it seems, and typical often hides a person of depth and character that just needs someone to see and believe in what lies underneath the surface. Austin and Blythe do that for each other in sometimes hilarious and more often compassionate and loving ways.
The town is peopled with the expected Southern characters—a bombastic mayor, a wise and kind, but tough, town secretary named Queen, and an abrasive café owner/cook.
Austin’s transformation is demonstrated in his remark to his old girlfriend as she tries to win him back: “I’ve not changed…This is who I’ve always been. I’ve just never had the courage to show it to anyone. And no one ever had the patience to bring it out of me.”
Austin and Blythe undergo their transformations with love and patience from each other. Other townspeople go through their own transformations with some love and a kick in the pants from Blythe and Queen. The town is transformed to fulfill its potential as the charming southern town it once was.
I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of Austin and Blythe and their fellow neighbors from Conyers. Ms Wilson’s writing is clean and light-handed. She has quite a knack for bringing characters to life. As I read, I highlighted so many quotes from Austin, Queen, and most often, from Blythe. The characters are so real, I can imagine that when I walk from my house to the downtown of the Northern version of Conyers, I will meet the characters of Conyers along the way.
The story’s ending is somewhat expected, but don’t get complacent; Ms Wilson has a few surprises in store for us.
Thanks again to the Indie Book Collective. If not for the Blog Tour de Troops, I would never have found this delightful short work.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)

Review by: J Conklin on May 31, 2011 :
This was a delightful read. The characters definitely reminded me of the small towns in the South.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Rachel Greenwall on May 31, 2011 :
The characters were interesting. The story was well told. It was fun to watch these two insecure people fall in love and bring out the best in each other.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

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