The Crossroads Cafe
By Roberta Austin
Dec 12, 2006 - 3:12:00 AM

Cathryn Deen seems to have the world by the tail. Her celebrated beauty has made her a famous actress. A new line of beauty products called "Flawless" is soon to be launched, which will only add to her wealth and allure. Cathryn's life is changed forever when a fun ride in her sports car ends in a tragic accident that leaves her scarred and wondering if she can go on.

During her recovery, Cathryn receives biscuits and gravy from her cousin, Delta, who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. Cathryn decides to hide from the media in her grandmother's rustic home near Delta's Crossroads Cafe. Cathryn realizes she cannot make it on her own in the hostile weather of the Appalachian winter. Slowly she opens up to Delta and the others in the community. Cathryn meets Thomas Mitternich, a former New York City architect, who is wounded, in his own way, by the guilt and agony that followed the death of his wife and son in the World Trade Center.  Thomas hides in the bottle and perhaps feels he needs to suffer even more before he commits suicide. Can two people so deeply wounded ever find the path back to life?

Author Deborah Smith is known for her emotionally charged novels and THE CROSSROADS CAFE is her finest to date. Her characters come to life in painfully realistic dialog and vivid narrative. Love of many varieties plays a huge role in this story of heartache and redemption. By the book's end you will feel as though you could drop in for a glass of sweet tea and a chat with Delta and all the other regulars at the Cafe. A sense of place is another point that elevates this novel to a special level. Ms. Smith's Southern storytelling ability makes us feel right at home in the landscape of the plot, no matter where we currently reside.
This masterful, heartfelt tale is another masterpiece for Ms. Smith to add to her growing body of work. I have been a huge fan for a long time and highly recommend this and all the author's previous novels.

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