Monday, October 19, 2015

Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado, Candace and Eric Newman

Chelsea Chambers feels lost and on her own.  She returns to her home town after a very public seperation from her NFL player husband and takes over the family business: High Grounds Cafe; a coffee shop her grandmother started.  But the coffee house is in need of reinvention, they have lost customer base to the modern chain Cafe Cosmo down the road.  Chelsea is at a lost of what to do even her outstanding cupcakes and pastries fail to bring in the customers.   She is need of a miracle or two, or three.  When a stranger shows up at the coffee shop looking for a job things begin to change.  Shortly after his arrival, customer begin to flock to the shop, is because of the delicious coffee and pastries, or is it because of the new God Blog, a way for customers to ask God 1 question and get a response supposedly from the man upstairs himself.  One disaster after another has Chelsea feeling unsure of where to turn.  When a major disaster occurs, her eyes are open to the unknown elements around her.  She turns to the one person who can answer the question that has been plaguing her.  As always Heaven never answers in the way she expects.

 I don't know where to begin with this book.  I began to read it and honestly could not put it down. I finished it within hours.  Max has always been a staple author in my family's home, I have read several of his Christian Living books, but this is the first fiction novel of his that I have read.  I was not disappointed.  Many things addressed in this book were relate-able on a multitude of levels.  I caught myself asking "If you could ask God one question, anything at all, what would it be?"  Throughout the novel, Chelsea does not utilize the "God Blog" and tries to do everything on her own.  I was slightly disappointed that there was not more of Chelsea finding God and turning to him more.  I expected more of that, more of her realizing she needed God in order to survive, but that doesn't come until later in the novel.  But I guess that describes how we are, we don't realize we need God until later in the story of our lives.

Max and his team develops the story nicely and moves it along at an easy pace.  There were elements that reminded me of It's A Wonderful Life with the guardian angel coming to aid his charge. That is one of my favorite movies so it was easy to find a correlation.  But that was an element I highly enjoyed as well.  The aid not Chelsea needed, but also her children came in the form of a guardian angel.  I couldn't help but chuckle when he watched Star Wars for the first time.  I admit this is not normally a book I would pick up, but I am glad to have read it.   While it is a fictional novel, it gives readers something to reflect on, even in the discussion questions at the end.

I would give this novel a 4 out of 5 because there were elements that seemed cliche and the main character not finding/utilizing her faith.  I would recommend this to any of my friends who enjoy a Christian fiction.  It is great for discussion groups and even study groups eager to learn new ways of reflecting on their walk with God.  Every enjoyable.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.  **

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