Title: Midnight Supper at the Rise and Shine by Tara Woolpy
Publisher: Bats in the Boathouse Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 266 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
Bad luck and worse choices—that’s Irene. She’s been a widow half her life and now splits her time between waitressing at the Rise and Shine café and singing in an oldies cover band. And she’s having an affair with a married man—something that even her eclectic, super liberal family can’t condone.
She’d be the first one to admit she has faults, but she’s not a bigot. The genetic pool in her nuclear family spans the globe. And it’s not that she’s prejudiced against people with disabilities but that doctors and wheelchairs give her the heebie-jeebies. So when a cute guy in a chair keeps showing up in the restaurant, she’s clumsy, awkward and strangely drawn. Can Irene let go of the past or is she too emotionally broken to find a future worth the risk?
Midnight Supper at the Rise and Shine by Tara Woolpy is a delightfully charming novel set in the fictional town of Lacland. This heartwarming and thought-provoking story features a loving and supportive family whose daily lives are tightly intertwined both professionally and personally.
After her husband Greg’s death, Irene Sato gave up her career as an opera singer and moved back to her small hometown with her son Adam. Although she has been widowed for twenty-four years, she has never been in another serious relationship and much to her family’s dismay, she is currently having an affair with a married man. Irene works long hours in the family owned dinner and she spends her weekends playing in her brother-in-law’s cover band. When Adam begins asking questions about the father he never knew, she slowly begins to realize that she has never really recovered from his death. And as if her life does not have enough complications, she cannot seem to keep her distance from newcomer Mark Redfield. Irene is uncomfortable with his disability and she has a few misconceptions about him that keep her off balance as they get to know one another.
Irene is a complex and sympathetic protagonist. She is refreshingly direct although she is sometimes a little too candid when she is talking to Mark (even though he does not seem to mind). Despite her outspokenness, Irene has a difficult time discussing her marriage and answering Adam’s questions about Greg is difficult for her and their discussions bring her unresolved emotions to the surface. Equally troubling is her propensity for choosing unavailable men and Irene is becoming increasingly ashamed about her current affair. Her friendship with Mark is a bit of a turning point for her and as she begins to open up to him, Irene finally begins to heal.
One of the best aspects of the novel is the strong family bond between Irene and her extended family. The family not only works together but they live together as well. While they do not always agree with one another’s decisions, they are always there for each other. The family is extremely close and everyone is very honest and open about what is going on in their lives. Their love and support for one another is unwavering and this helps them get through whatever life throws their way.
Midnight Supper at the Rise and Shine by Tara Woolpy is an engaging novel with an appealing cast of multi-dimensional characters. The storyline is quite compelling and touches on relevant social issues in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner. An absolutely wonderful story that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.