The Two Sisters’ Café is an addictive potion of a fairy tale about two benevolent witches, the townfolk they try to save, and a young apprentice struggling to escape abuse. Authors Elena Yates Eulo and Samantha Harper Macy tell of a magical café in rural, 1950s Kentucky and two sisters who change the lives of everyone they meet. Themes of overcoming disadvantages and believing in a better future permeate the story. And while magic forms the backbone of the transformations that occur, the real power lies in the difference made when people who love one another delve into each other’s lives.
The story revolves around Alma and Vannie May, two magical sisters who run a café where mysterious events often occur. Many of the chapters read like vignettes. One by one, town residents enter the café with a significant problem, often something internal they need to change. The sisters weave their spells to teach lessons and impact each person’s life. When one family proves harder to reach than the others, they bring a young girl from this family into their lives to guide the magical powers she possesses. And they must also find a way to guard her from her abusive father before it’s too late.
Authors Eulo and Macy drew inspiration from their own exceptional grandmothers and the restaurant one of them ran. Eulo is the author of internationally published novels, including A Southern Woman. Macy is an actress, writer, teacher, and poet who penned the poetry collection titled Loving Men.
The characters these authors create are vivid. In particular, one identifies with young Sarah, the girl the sisters watch over. She seems real and relatable, even while so much around her sits soundly in the fantasy genre. The drama holds the reader from chapter to chapter and feels well paced, while the tone stays hopeful, pointing toward light, despite themes normally mired in darkness.
This book isn’t for those sensitive to positive, even alluring, depictions of witchcraft. But it offers an enjoyable read for anyone who likes fantasy or who appreciates books that delve into the supernatural. And it sets a bright contrast to so many dark, supernatural novels today.