The 24 Hour Cafe, known as Stella’s is a window to another world, another world where everyone is going about their own business, with their own past, their own present and their own decisions to their own future.
Libby Page, lets us as readers, drop into the cafe to see exactly the people that might cross the cafe doors in 24 hours and what their stories might be.
We need a vehicle for all these people and their stories – Mona and Hannah, waitresses who work double shifts, would be dancer and singer respectively, housemates and best friends. Stella’s Cafe is simply where they fill their time whilst waiting for that once in a lifetime opportunity. It seems to be taking a long time to arrive.
As we learn more about Mona and Hannah and how they came together, we also see into the lives of the young student with nowhere to live, the honeymooners in later life, the relationships blossoming and breaking, the lonely, the workers, the parent escaping the child, the random acts of kindness, the future, the past and everything in between.
These little scenes of life show you how so much is going on around you and that all that you are really interested in and aware of is your own little world. Reflected in Mona who was aware of Hannah, but Hannah’s actions shrink her world and it ends up testing their friendship.
How often do you stop and wonder about those around you – what their story is and whether it is happier or more troubled than your own? Whether there are people looking at you thinking the same, just for 24 hours Libby Page gives us that insight and as you finish the book, you go back to your own life and carry on.
An excellent observational read that makes you stop and think – no doubt a book that will much talked about during 2020.
Many thanks to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The 24 Hour Cafe is published on 23 January.