Summer at the Garden Café: Finfarran #2 by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Summer at the Garden Café: Finfarran #2 by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Returning to the Finfarran peninsula with the second book in the series from Felicity Hayes-McCoy, I adored the introduction to this remote bit of Ireland with the first. Please read on for my review of

Summer at the Garden Café

I loved the first in this series, and getting to know the people on the peninsula and through the town of Lissbeg. Now, with the grand opening of the visitor center at the Lissbeg library, loaded with tech and a gift shop, all to house the Carrick Psalter, an illuminated manuscript recently donated to the library for display. This medieval manuscript with its vellum pages, calligraphy and vignettes that illustrate a single thought of each psalm is historically relevant and of the area – as scenes in the illustrations are often taken from the landscape of the area.

But the grand opening aside, Jazz has mostly recovered from her accident, but has been denied medical clearance to resume her work as a flight attendant, so she’s working for a local B & B with Gunther, Susan and their daughter Holly. Frustrated with her father and his affair, her mother and grandmother ‘covering it up’, and herself for believing in her father’s infallibility, she’s also struggling with the aftermath of her accident and her nerves about driving again. Add to that mix her paternal grandmother Louisa, coming for an extended stay from her large home in Kent, Jazz thinks that everyone is out to ‘reconcile’ her with her father and push her into a more ‘suitable’ career. But the B&B work suits her, and Susan {a local girl} and Gunther {her German tourist husband} are welcoming the help with the increase in business – while still having their goat’s milk products business that is a steady source of income, albeit much work.

We get to meet a newer family with Ameena and her parents, and the challenges of being the only Pakistani family in the area, and Ameena’s application to work in the gift shop at the library, and her worries for her mother’s isolation: not confident in her English skills, but knowing that her daughter will soon be off to university and greener pastures, there is change in the air. Of course, we have Conor and his girlfriend / crush Aideen, partners with Brid in HabberDashery – the café that provides food for the Convent Café, catering and treats for all. Aideen and Conor have plenty of challenges, most self-inflicted, that will have to be sorted.

Hanna is still butting heads with her mother, although her house is everything she wanted, and the bookmobile routes as well as her masterminding the Psalter’s donation to infuse capital into the Lissbeg end of Finfarran, and not just be spent on high-tourist areas already booming. Hanna’s tendency to hold on to grudges, overthink and play the push-pull game is better suited to a teen, but when she discovers an old, hand-bound diary left by Mary Casey, she’s finding answers and more questions to her father’s family history. Brian is still about, gently dithering, back and forth with welcome and keep away flipping back and forth like clouds scudding across the sky.

There aren’t huge “aha’ moments here, for this tale winds through multiple people, all coming back to find a welcome, advice, sympathy and even tough talk – with plenty of moments from past and present, shame and sorrows, worries and celebrations. Unfolding quietly along with the season, there is a quiet calmness in between moments of strife, where choices, awakenings and beginnings find a way to find their light and set the characters on a path with new hope, or even new insight.

Summer at the Garden Café: Finfarran #2 by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Title: Summer at the Garden Café
Author: Felicity Hayes-McCoy
Series: Finfarran #2
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Setting: Ireland
Published by: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 006286095X
Published on: 4 September, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 400
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 26 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound Book Depository GoogleAudible
See this Title on Goodreads

A heart-warming story about secrets between four generations of women and the healing power of books, love and friendship.

The Garden Café, in the town of Lissbeg on Ireland's Finfarran Peninsula, is a place where plans are formed and secrets shared ...
But Jazz - still reeling from her father's disclosures about the truth of his marriage to her mother, Hanna - has more on her mind than the comings and goings at the café. Now isolated from friends and family and fixating on her new job at a local guesthouse, she's started to develop feelings for a man who is strictly off limits . . .
Meanwhile Hanna, Lissbeg's librarian, is unaware of the turmoil in her daughter's life - until her ex-husband Malcolm makes an appearance and she begins to wonder if the secrets she's carried for him might have harmed Jazz more than she'd realised.

As things heat up in Lissbeg, can the old book Hanna finds buried in her own clifftop garden help Jazz?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


About Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Irish writer Felicity Hayes-McCoy is the author of the "Finfarran" novels, set in a fictional county on Ireland's West Coast. Cathy Kelly, bestselling author of "Between Sisters" and "Secrets of a Happy Marriage", describes Felicity's Finfarran books as "a delicious feast", while Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling author of "The Cafe by the Sea", calls them "charming and heartwarming".

Felicity's cultural guide to Ireland's Dingle Peninsula, Dingle and Its Hinterland: People, Places and Heritage, written with her husband Wilf Judd, and illustrated with their own photographs, came out in 2017.


One response to “Summer at the Garden Café: Finfarran #2 by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

  1. Ken

    Hi Gaele, thanks for your blog! I read the book Summer At The Garden Cafe after reading your blog. I really like it. Keep sharing.

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