Book Review: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe.

miracle-at-the-higher-grounds-cafe_max-lucado-goodreadsNo. of Pages: 192 pages

Publisher, Date: Thomas Nelson, October 2015

Author: Max Lucado

SynopsisWhat if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the sunlight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Cafe, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help.

Better yet, a miracle. Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Cafe, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine! Now the cafe has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions. When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

My thoughts on the book:

At first glance, the Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by author Max Lucado looked like any ordinary book. With a teal-coloured front and back cover, as well as a picture of a hot, steaming cup of coffee, it’s the perfect epitome of an avid reader’s paradise. A good book and a hot cup of coffee, why not?

The first few chapters seemed like a great start… until I reached the chapter where I read that Chelsea Chambers has a guardian angel by the name of Samuel. At the risk of being crucified (ironic, isn’t it?), I knew that the author is also a minister and a man of God (it says so at the bottom of the back cover; a little piece about him) so it was natural that the book would lean that way. But I didn’t expect the plot to run the course of Christianity.

But wow, Chelsea has a guardian angel?! I think I’d like to have one myself too! One with a nice shining saber to stab bad people with, and maybe a strike or two of lightning. I have a few people in mind that I’d like to “punish”, literally.

Eventually as I delved deeper into the book, I came across many hints of Christianity. It made me wonder if I did the right thing — buying the book off Book Depository because of its beautiful book cover. Angel Gabriel and the Archangel Michael, the Bible, God, the divine intervention via a spiritual and glowing wireless connection, blinding white light, prayers… Not to mention, evil and villainous shadows lurking in the cover of darkness only to be chased away by hymns and songs. Don’t forget about the internet router connecting the God Blog! Seriously? It felt kind of far-fetched that the plot would take such a religious turn. The only thing that was as real as it could get was the coffee, cakes and cupcakes that Chelsea served at the cafe.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not averse to Christianity as a religion, nor am I religious phobic. It’s just that I’m not a big fan of Christian stories. Perhaps not to the extent of reading all 192 pages. That was a lot. It was… a little overwhelming.

********** Warning: Spoiler Alert! **********

The idea of angels descending from Heaven to help a single mother of two keep her cafe business afloat may be hard to digest, but the book was still fun to read. It does seem a little fluffy and fairy-tale-like but it was still an easy book to read, seeing as each chapter is at least three pages or less. At least there was a plot twist or two at the end. Or maybe a few. For one, I never thought that Chelsea Chambers would end up reconciling with her cheating husband. I thought she would ultimately divorce him and go with Bo (since her son, Hancock, was pretty good with him). Also, who would have thought that the person who nicked the heavenly router was young Marcus Johnson, not the dastardly dashing Dennis Darling who insisted on buying over her cafe? Yeah, it was good while it lasted.

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