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A Joyful Cup Story

BY Jacquelyn Lynn

Tuskawilla Creative Services
January 9, 2019 / ISBN 978-1941826287
Fiction / General / Literary

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern


This inspirational novel is intended as the first in a planned series about a Central Florida coffee shop owner named Joy Shepherd who provides gentle guidance to her most troubled customers. In this case, she has multiple customers with serious problems. There’s a young married couple (Kevin and Heather) dealing with the aftermath of a horrible hit-and-run accident that left Kevin bleeding and injured on a lonely stretch of road. There’s also Samantha, the young college student who caused the accident and fled the scene.

Through her spiritual coaching and hand-picked coffee mugs (each has a unique message intended for a particular customer), Joy helps Kevin learn to forgive, aids Heather in dealing with an uncertain future, and guides Samantha into taking responsibility for her actions. Joy also provides a safe haven for the community, which gathers together in supporting Kevin and Heather (owners of a nearby pet supply store) during their time of need.

The book deals with weighty issues, including crime and punishment, acceptance of circumstances, and crisis of faith. Simple language and an easy-to-read writing style keep the story lively and prevent Joy from turning into a preacher instead of a coffee shop owner. The story could have happened anywhere, but author Jacquelyn Lynn provides a strong sense of place so that readers can actually envision the small community where the action occurs.

The author, best-known for her nonfiction inspirational books including Finding Joy in the Morning and Words to Work By: 31 devotions for the workplace based on the Book of Proverbs, ventures into new territory here with this work of contemporary inspirational fiction. Readers looking for a refreshing story about making difficult choices should enjoy this book and look forward to future installments of the series.

Reviewed 2018