Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado with Candace Lee and Eric Newman

A novel from Max Lucado? With the help of two co-authors, he has created an entertaining novel.

The novel's main character is Chelsea Chambers. She is on her own after splitting up with her two timing, ex-NFL superstar husband. She has gone back home, taking over the Higher Grounds Cafe. In an old but quaint building in need of much restoration, she plans to carry on her mother's legacy while struggling as a single mom. When she recovers from the shock of the back taxes owed, she knows she needs a miracle.

A curious stranger comes to the cafe door and with him, the miracle she has been seeking. Manny provides an Internet connection to God and soon Chelsea's coffee shop is bursting with people. But her bubble bursts when her estranged husband comes calling and tragedy strikes the cafe.

There are some clever concepts in this novel. Prominent is the idea of being able to ask God one question and get a direct answer. What would you ask and what kind of answer would you want? Another is the lingering force of prayers. One of the rooms in the old coffee shop was a prayer closet and the prayers still reverberate. And then there is Manny, God's gift to the struggling Chelsea.

A major theme in this novel is forgiveness and restoration. Another theme is asking of God and receiving immediate answers. It is an encouraging book, reminding us that God is always near and working all things according to His will and our ultimate good.

I am always a bit leery of novels with angelic being as characters. Creating fiction that accurately portrays angelic beings is a challenge. In this novel we have Manny, an angel who can make a decent latte and, when he sees a Star Wars movie for the first time, falls in love with the series.

This is a cute book, a light and easy read, and very encouraging. Don't we wish getting an answer from God was as easy as logging on to a blog? But that is not always the case. In that respect, I think the novel is just too light. While it does deal with some issues in a good way, the idea of asking God questions is presented with too much ease and simplicity. Communicating with God is a serious and holy task – one we should pursue with awe and reverence.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here. You can watch the book trailer here.

Max Lucado is a prolific author who ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he and his wife live. Find out more at
Candace Lee and Eric Newman are screenwriters who collaborated with Lucado on the film version of his novel, The Christmas Candle.

Thomas Nelson, 192 pages. You can purchase a copy here.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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