July 31, 2009

Blog Tour: Cafe Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island by Barbara Bonfigli

BOOK #: 62
REASONS READ: Blog Tour; New Authors Challenge
PUBLISHER: Tell Me Press
GENRE: Fiction; Women's Fiction; "Fictionalized Memoir" (as stated on cover)
RATING: 3.5 Stars

Today I am happy to not only review this book for Barbara Bonfigli through Virtual Blog Tours, but also share with you straight from the author why this book makes a great book club selection!


When Sarah, a thirty-something American theatrical producer, is asked to direct the locals in their summer show, she picks Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. What follows is a hilarious adventure in casting, rehearsing, and consuming. Her neighbors are excited about acting but delirious about eating. Their rehearsals in a deconsecrated church become a feast in four acts.

Armed with a sizzling wit, a dangerously limited Greek vocabulary, and a pitch-perfect ear for drama, Sarah navigates the major egos and minor storms of a cab driver Caliban, a postmaster Prospero, and a host of fishermen dukes and knaves.

When she falls in love, there are even trickier seas to navigate. Her own offstage romance provides an exhilarating, unpredictable counterpoint to Shakespeare’s story of magic, intrigue, and the power of love.


I think Cafe Tempest, Bonfigli's first novel, is basically a Greek Island version of A Year in Provence or Eat, Pray, Love. There were funny lines and there were curious and unexpected parts and there was a wonderful amount of Greek culture and language included throughout the book.

I did struggle a little bit with the fact that Sarah had been on the island before and I did not feel that everything was explained as well as it could have been. I am not sure how to phrase what I mean exactly. I only know that there were several times during the book where I felt that sharing more background information from Sarah's previous visit to Pharos could have helped me understand the present situations better.

"Harika na se dho,' I tell him, a phrase I learned over the winter. Until then what I'd thought meant 'Happy to see you' was actually 'I'm so thrilled to see you I could jump into bed with you right now.' Which may explain my popularity on Pharos." (pg. 9)

"It's a very small space we're standing in. I have no trouble feeling the heat. She has no trouble kissing me. Whatever was left of Julian dissolves in her arms. Neither of us speaks for a while. We're going to be gone too long-- this much time I can tell. Then there's Alex, who's always the first to know what's happening. A violin starts to play. Really. 'Let's go,' I say. Now I know what
tearing yourself away means." (pg. 127)

Barbara Bonfigli Shares Why Cafe Tempest Makes a Good Book Club Selection:

Book Clubs are, by nature, discussion groups. And there is much to discuss in "Cafe Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island." Love, friendship, sexuality, taking risks, letting go are all themes of the novel.

So is "You Love Who You Love," Sarah's enlightened approach to following her heart & one of the Top 10 Book Club Discussion Questions of all time. Also, Book Clubs thrive on smart, funny novels. Cafe Tempest is all of that and more, a provocative story of one woman's daring exploration of love, Shakespeare and authenticity, all set on an idyllic Greek Island.

Book Clubs that attract Travelers will really appreciate "Cafe Tempest." There are many good Travel Literature books for Italy, France, England, but very very few for Greece. This is why the Greek Embassy is helping us get the word out about "Cafe Tempest." It's such a loving, lively, authentic look Greek Island life...and the fact that the author is NOT Greek seems to make it all the more appealing.

Book Clubs that enjoyed dining out on "Eat, Pray,Love" and are looking for another book in that love/travel/spirituality category will want to read "Cafe Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island." The writing is sharp, and so is the humor, and it dives deeply into exotic lands with insight and enthusiasm.

Cafe Tempest is a natural choice for many women readers but by all account men like it too. There must be some Book Clubs looking for a novel that is so original and fun to read it reaches out to both men and women.

The author has written a Reader's Guide for the trade paperback which is wide-ranging, witty and provocative.

To learn about Barbara Bonfigli and Café Tempest, feel free to visit any of these sites.

Barbara Bonfigli’s website – www.cafetempest.com

Order Café Tempest directly from the publisher - http://www.tellmepress.com/pub_ct.php or from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Café-Tempest-Adventures-Small-Island/dp/0981645313

To see the complete tour schedule visit http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/05/cafe-tempest-by-barbara-bonfigli-summer.html


  1. I think I would enjoy this book. The quote made me laugh.

  2. Thanks very much for inviting me to your site. Looks like you had fun reading Cafe Tempest and so will Vivienne. I didn't talk much about Sarah's previous trips to Pharos because I thought the present was rich with characters and incidents and romance and that the past is, well, past. But maybe next time?
    To learn more about me, read a longer excerpt and some early reviews, please visit me at www.cafetempest.com Opa! barbara

  3. You make a point about something I struggle with in my novels and especially in my series. Its the "how do I share enough without boring the reader". Its a very fine line and something I think we all tweak and adjust with each book we write. I'm planning the 2nd book is one of my series and struggling with this concern - great timing for your comment :)

    That and handling flashbacks right - both tough things for authors, thankfully it gets a bit easier with each book :)

    Nikki Leigh

  4. I enjoyed a Year in Provence, so maybe I'd like this one too.

  5. I would read this book just for the locale. greece is gorgeous(from what I've seen in pictures, sigh)


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