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Brenda Bevan Remmes Books In Order

Publication Order of Quaker Cafe Books

The Quaker Cafe (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Home to Cedar Branch (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mama Sadie (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Brenda Bevan Remmes lives in Black River Swamp, South Carolina with her husband in an ancient family home. It is filled with history from generations past.

In the year 2014, “The Qauaker Cafe” was released, and is Remmes’ debut novel, and is the first book in her “Quaker Cafe” series. Remmes’ work has appeared in quite a few journals and publications, one of which includes Newsweek.

She spent her career at the University of North Carolina and the University of South Carolina conducting rural health education programs for Schools of Medicine. People who find joy in their career are more optimistic, self-confident, act nicer to people, feel better, and have less fears. She keeps this in mind as she writes.

When she was only two, she would stand on the two foot brick wall bordering on the public sidewalk, waiting for the next person to walk on by. She couldn’t go anywhere beyond the wall, but could go with people from one end of their yard to the other. Remmes spent many afternoons walking the wall and asking people what their names were and where they were going and if they had kids her age that she could play with.

Being a Southerner makes her aware of boundaries, but still likes to start conversations to see the next story that comes to her. She has lived life with many storytellers in her family, who each had wonderful and special characteristics of their own.

None of them give a simple answer to how their day was, when asked. The answers involve details, which require an adequate description and with that comes an obligation to make things entertain. Entertainment requires an amount of irony and humor in telling any good story.

“The Quaker Cafe” is the first novel in the “Quaker Cafe” series, which was released in the year 2014. Liz Hoole (from the Midwest and a free spirited liberal) married into a conservative Quaker family. She knew right away that it would be tough to raise her kids in compliance with the values of the Quakers. Twenty-five years in and she still thinks she is falling short of the expectations on her. Keeping her strong, is her friends and faith in the tiny and rural town in North Carolina, called Cedar Branch.

Her best friend’s dad, a politically powerful guy, dies. Liz finds some secrets from the past that might unravel the peace that runs through Cedar Branch. And this is a town that has a history of racial tension. While she researches more and keeps her ear to the ground at the Quaker Cafe, a place the town goes each morning. Liz quickly finds out the truth about an injustice that she has to keep her mouth shut about. Even to her husband.

She is surrounded by some richly drawn Southern characters, and discovers that good people are capable of making bad choices. She has to find out whether she has the inner strength to bring to light a wrong from the past, despite all the consequences that will come.

By reading this book, some were able to learn quite a bit about The Quakers and the South. Fans got drawn into this wonderfully touching story right from the first line. Brenda Bevan Remmes is able to inject some humor into some social customs, usually by using an outsider to point out the idiosyncrasies. Once some got started on the book, it was hard to stop. The setting, characters, and plot were stellar, making readers want to find this town.

“Home to Cedar Branch” is the second novel in the “Quaker Cafe” series, which was released in the year 2016. Katy is looking for safe haven away from Hank (her abusive husband) in her quiet hometown, Cedar Branch, North Carolina. This is after a betrayal ends in a tragedy. She takes up residence on her old family farm and gets a job at the Quaker Cafe. Katy hopes to leave her past behind her.

At the local cafe, she finds some allies and people that are kind and want to protect her and give her advice. A Yankee transplant that doesn’t bow to convention. The gracious owner of the place insists that it is manners that prevail. A shrewd lawyer from the South that sees an opportunity for Katy to gain from the predicament she’s in. The cook, a no nonsense person, who tackles life with a cast iron frying pan.

Hank finds out where she is, and the peace she has found is broken. A heated standoff ensues between local and federal law enforcement, Hank, and the media. How far is the community in Cedar Branch going to go to stop violence and save some lives?

Fans enjoyed this one, finding it to be very interesting, as it went in directions that some were not expecting it to. The entire read, for that matter, was a surprise for some. It focused not just on one character, but on the entire town. This feels like a real world created here, and it is populated by some three dimensional characters.

“Mama Sadie” is the third novel in the “Quaker Cafe” series, which was released in the year 2018. Sadie Baker goes crazy when a hazardous waste incinerator is approved by elected officials in Cedar Branch inside town limits.

She is concerned for the health of her grandkids, and becomes outspoken in her opposition of the proposal. Sadie is greeted by an unexpected backlash. Even her adult sons see new industry as a possible gain for the economy in town.

Audacity, wit, and conviction are her weapons while she backs down. Her sons regard her with more concern as each of her efforts to block the siting grow more outrageous than the last. What is their mother going to do next?

Fans found this to be highly relevant to what is currently going on in the country today. This is for anyone that enjoys reading books with small town Southern culture and a good dose of things like local activism.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Brenda Bevan Remmes