I have had a couple of Susan Duncan’s books on my ‘To Read’ list for awhile but hadn’t been able to track them down at my local library. So whilst browsing through a book exchange recently I spotted The Briny Cafe and grabbed it. I’m so pleased I did as it certainly didn’t disappoint. I loved it and read it in a matter of days.
Ettie Brookbank is the heart and soul of Cook’s Basin, a sleepy cluster of dazzling blue bays where the only way home is by boat.
However, as idyllic as her surroundings are, she is all too aware of the years slipping by without note. While her good friend Sam, an offshorer born and bred, steadfastly guards the tranquillity of Cook’s Basin life, Ettie yearns for excitement, a challenge, the chance to live dangerously while her blood still runs hot. But she gave up believing in dreams long ago.
Then fate offers her a lifeline – the chance to breathe new life into a beloved local landmark.
Ettie’s salvation, it seems, is a lopsided little cafe on the water’s edge .
Ettie is 55 and all on her own. She feels as if her life is slipping past her and she hasn’t done half of the things that she wanted to. Living on and island in the middle of Sydney’s idyllic Pittwater has its advantages though. Life is simple, most of the time, in the tight knit community.
Surprisingly she strikes up a friendship with newcomer to the Island, Kate, despite their being almost a 30 year age gap.
When Ettie is given the opportunity to take over The Briny Cafe, she immediately and to everyone’s surprise chooses Kate as her business partner. Both women are lonely but what are the chances of them both finding love on the Island?
As I’ve said before, I love reading books that are set in an area that I’m familiar with and this one was no exception. Having lived on Sydney’s Northern Beaches I only had to close my eyes and I could see the boats on the glistening water and imagine life in Cooks Basin.
I give this book a firm 9 out of 10.