And she’s back! Now don’t get me wrong, Markinson (TBM)’s last novel, Marionette, wasn’t bad and was excellently written, it just wasn’t for me. However, Confessions from a Coffee Shop harkens back to A Woman Lost in humor and fun! I flew through this and couldn’t help but smile the entire time I read this novel. I received a copy from the author and received no compensation for my response. If this review sounds at ALL interesting you should request a preview copy from her here.
I said above that TBM is back and the reason I say that is because she’s return to what she knows and what I can assume is a comfort zone for her. I don’t fault her one bit for stretching her writing muscles in her second novel, but I’m so glad she returned to her strengths!
From the first page to the last, you could sense the author’s humor and confidence. They say to write what you know, She was writing a character (I can only assume) who is similar to her in many ways and different in others. However, even if you remove what I’ve learned about TBM from her blogging over the years, the book stands on its own! Not only does she really place you in Boston and in the mindset of New England (she’s clearly spent time here), but she’s created believable and deep characters. It also doesn’t hurt she described (and renamed) one of my favorite restaurants in the Boston area 😀
I also think TBM is maturing as a writer, the story felt better paced than her previous works and the tension throughout kept me on my toes. I was constantly rooting for Kat and simultaneously rooting for Sam (regardless of what the characters said) and ultimately enjoyed the ending of the novel. In general, I don’t like epilogues, but this one was perfectly done and it tied the novel together even better than I thought it could. I can also just imagine TBM having a similar response to having to go through a book reading.
There were two things I wasn’t completely sold on. The first was the cover and the second the opening line.I am, unfortunately, one of those people who judges, selects and appreciates a book based on its cover. I can’t imagine how expensive it is to have a cover designed and created, but I’m sure it’s more than I could afford. For some reason the overly stylized covers of romance novels always bothers me, and this one isn’t so much overly stylized as super shiny (the lights in the background, the clear skin, the white coffee cup, the metallic font), but you know what if the cover is the only thing I had an issue with then I’m okay with that. I’m just a weirdo like that.
As for the opening line, I think it fits the novel, but for me it was a little too jarring and set the tone of the novel a bit differently than I expected. Looking back “bonking” was actually a great choice and it does fit the novel, but for some reason the line didn’t help me in jumping in.
Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this novel, even with the icky woman-on-woman sex! (Ha! And honestly it wasn’t that bad and mostly my prudish sensibilities kicked in, like they do in any sex scene regardless of the genders of those involved.) Honestly, I would’ve given this one a 4.5 out of 5 on Goodreads, but I always round down rather than up. I can’t wait to see what TBM writes next!!
Opening Line: “Mother, stop! Father is not bonking some slut in his office!”
Closing Line: “Slipping on my reading glasses, I cracked the book open to the first page, ‘Chapter One…'” (Whited out.)