It’s very rare that I write a review on a book that I wasn’t asked to review but this one has called to me from the minute I heard it mentioned by a dear friend. Lulu’s Cafe was written by T.I. Lowe, a home-town girl, who grew up in the same places as me. The small-town gossip about her amazingly written book left me wanting to read it for myself and I was definitely not disappointed.
T.I. Lowe and I have walked the same streets over time, the same well-beaten paths of beauty by the river and the beautiful Atlantic Coast that make up our coastal SC home. I knew every true, picturesque place she described in the made up town of Rivertown, SC. Much as Rivertown became “Home” to Leah Allen, the main character in Lulu’s Cafe, Rivertown is indeed “Home” to me.
Leah’s life was not always sweet southern peaches and cream. She’d been through Hell in her lifetime – a Hell that few of us can even begin to imagine. Growing up as an orphan was only the faint beginning of this life she led.
To everyone else, it seemed Leah, who was then known as Gabriella Sadler, lead a dream life. She was the wife of the handsome Brent Sadler who gave her everything she could ever want. If only the world would take a closer look, they’d see that Gabby’s life was not all roses and champagne. Only a few cared to look for the truth and those few couldn’t help Gabby.
There comes a time when the abuse becomes too much and you fight back. I know because I have been there and though I wasn’t nearly as badly abused as sweet Gabby was, it wasn’t easy just to walk away. Still Gabby managed to break free and she started on a path to begin her life again. She headed South.
In the South, Gabby began to grow and blossom, thanks to the great support she found in Lulu and others in Rivertown. She was known as Leah now, her name all along. She hid her past but began to look forward to her future. Lulu’s Cafe helped Leah find who she really is and that fine piece of man, Crowley Mason also played a hand in that.
Coastal South Carolina leaves with you a lasting impression. The sweet little towns, the southern sass, the smell of wetlands and marsh grass are incomparable. I personally couldn’t imagine a better life than here and Lulu’s Cafe, T.I. Lowe’s debut novel, brings forth every bit of that beauty through Leah’s story. T.I. Lowe provides an experience you won’t soon forget and a connection to a place time has not changed. I truly look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
*Disclaimer – I was not asked to write this review. It is of my own personal opinion. I received no items in exchange for this review and I purchased the eBook version of this book on my own with no monetary reimbursement. I am including this disclaimer in accordance with FTC guidelines and regulations.