Richard Natale’s Cafe Eisenhower is a quick, endearing read

cafeCafé Eisenhower is a heartwarming story of life after loss, and the extremes one sometimes goes to in order to move on. After the love of his life dies, Matthew Robins inherits an apartment and a business in Eastern Europe from a distant great uncle whom he’s never met. Deciding that this is the change he needs in his bleak life of mourning, he sets off on an incredible journey where he discovers that he and his long lost uncle have more in common than Matthew ever imagined.

Richard Natale crafts a tale that is rich in personalities, culture, and family, no matter how anti-nuclear or dysfunctional that family may be. He made me laugh out loud seconds after I felt like crying. Switching between the present and the past which Matthew discovers in some old notebooks of his uncle’s, Natale slowly unwraps a secret that has been hidden for almost half a century. While some of the notebook scenes felt dry and a bit detached in the style in which they are conveyed, the rest of the story more than made up for it with great personalities and friendships that endure despite distance and deceit.