Sometimes when things get just a little too heavy or overwhelming, it’s good to sit in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a feel good book. Susanne Bacon’s “Delicate Dreams“ is exactly what I needed to find my center again after a very busy week. No bloody murders, no overwhelming crisis, no smart-aleck side kicks, just a cast of familiar characters who welcomed me into their world, and made me feel right at home.
Delicate Dreams Book Review
Delicate Dreams is the story of Dottie (geborn Gertrude) Dolan, the German widow of an American Soldier who passed away shortly after his retirement from the Air Force. At 45, Dottie finds she is alone in the seaside town of Wycliff, WA. The kids have grown up and moved away, and she is searching for something to keep herself busy, and connect her to the community.
With the encouragement and partnership of her neighbor and new friend, Pattie, Dottie opens a German Deli in the historic downtown, selling Aufschnitt, Wurst and treats that she remembers and loves from her home in Germany. The business begins to grow, and soon, Dottie finds herself taking part in the Chamber of Commerce, and is looking forward to taking part in the communities’ famous Victorian Christmas celebration. Until things begin to go wrong…
Delicate Dreams is more than a story about a German Deli, although, I have to admit, the descriptions of the shop might have been my favorite parts. (They reminded me so much of the German Delis and shops I’ve visited). There are several backstories just to keep things lively and engaging. Is there a dangerous thief in town? Will Dottie’s daughter come to her senses about her “relationship”, and finally settle into her own life? Will Wycliff’s Christmas Celebrations be cancelled, ruining downtown businesses, after the funds are embezzled? And most of all… will Dottie allow herself to let a new love into her life?
Susanne Bacon invites us in to Dottie’s life in a way that makes her feel like a good friend. Each chapter ends with a letter that Dottie has written to her late husband containing her deepest worries and longings. You really get a chance to get to know her as more than just a two dimensional character on the page.
I honestly wish I could move to Wycliff, it seems like a place I could live well… not in a fairy tale, but in a happy reality. I look forward to reading more about Dottie and her friends! For now, I will have to be satisfied cooking the delicious soup recipes that Susanne included in the back of the book! Lecker!!
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Update- I’ve read, and thoroughly enjoyed Wordless Wishes. While it doesn’t feature Dottie and her Deli, it does mention her… and other familiar characters in Wycliffe, and it’s a lovely story.
Update 2- The latest Wycliffe novel, Telling Truths, was just released, giving us another visit with the characters we love from that small town in Washington.
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