The 24-Hour Café

An uplifting story of friendship, hope and following your dreams from the top ten bestseller

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Pub Date 18 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 19 Feb 2021

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From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido comes a story about following your dreams, set over one single day.

'A moving and beautifully crafted novel about love, friendship and life' Mike Gayle


Welcome to the café that never sleeps.

Day and night, Stella's Café opens its doors to the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It's a place where everyone is always welcome, where life can wait at the door.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They love working at Stella's - the different people they meet, the small kindnesses exchanged. But is it time to step outside and make their own way in life?

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella's Café, where one day might just be enough to change your life . . .


Praise for The Lido, Libby Page's bestselling debut:

'Tender, thought-provoking and uplifting' Daily Mail

'Feel-good and uplifting, this charming novel is full of heart' Lucy Diamond

'A joyful celebration of community and friendship' Observer

'Did I #lovethelido? So much my heart broke a little turning the last page. A stunning debut' Clare Mackintosh

'A standout hymn to female friendship and the power of collective action' Stylist

'Such a kind and lovely novel, The Lido has a heart that shines from every page' A J Pearce

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido comes a story about following your dreams, set over one single day.

'A moving and beautifully crafted novel about love, friendship and life' Mike...

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ISBN 9781409175261
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

I loved this book covering 24 hours in an "open all hours" cafe. Obviously there are back stories as well, but the main action is during a single day. Libby Page's writing is great, with really sympathetic characters and believable stories. I enjoyed this as much as "The Lido" and would highly recommend it.

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Loved this book, title says it all really. The comings and goings of all sorts of people,friendships, kindness,sadness. Lovely read cwtched up. I hope there are more to follow. Thank you netgalley.

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A surprisingly enjoyable book. The book tells the story of the people in a café opposite Liverpool Street station over 24 hours. The main thread is the friendship between 2 of the waitresses, Mona and Hannah. The other stories include a homeless student, a young mother and an elderly couple finding love second-time round. At the very end, the author jumps one year ahead so that the reader finds out what has happened to some of the characters.
Libby Page has managed to write an entertaining book that does not contain explicit sex or violence and nor is it a romance.

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This author is becoming a master story teller - especially of short - micro - stories.
The device used in this book is 24 hours in a cafe open for 24 hours. Within these 24 hours we read about the lives of the people who come to drink and eat there. Each person has story to tell whether it is about friendship, love, loss or even London and what it means to them. Woven through their stories is the major story about friendship and careers and London living for young women.
London is a place where you can wear anything you like, and be whoever you want without judgement. The author says this but I have heard it myself from other young women who have some to London from more restrictive places, places perhaps where what you wear is noted and commented on, and who you are and what your sexuality is is restricted. No-one worries in London. People perhaps are too busy or too self-absorbed or too uncaring some would say. Others would say, London is free and permissive and allows people to expand and become who they were meant to be.
All this is noted in the micro stories told within these 24 hours.
A wonderful and masterful book.

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Stella's cafe is open 24 hours a day. Everyone is welcome.
Hannah and Mona are two of the waitresses: They are best friends and flat mates both dreaming of dancing and singing.
This is the story of 24 hours in the cafe. The customers and staff and how their lives are all touched by the cafe. It is a story of hope, friendship, desperation and survival.

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A beautiful look at life from inside a London 24 hour cafe.
Looking at people in love, in despair in need.. All the time sitting in this little care trying to find the answers to their problems
Each story in this book starts at a certain point in people's life's but then also gives you the ending of that story
These stories are seen through the eyes of staff Mona, Hannah, Sofia and the eyes of their customers too
I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. Wonderful read

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I absolutely loved this book! Libby Page has written another marvellous, heartwarming story, this time set in a 24 hour café in London. The main characters are two waitresses, singer Hannah and dancer Mona, working at the café but hoping to make it in their chosen careers. Their friendship and their hopes and dreams are easy to relate to and we also enjoy mini stories of other characters too, as customers drift in and out during the 24 hour period in which the novel set. I felt enchanted by their stories and shed a few tears towards the end but ultimately this is another fantastic, uplifting read by Libby Page. Five stars!

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Set predominantly within a 24 hour shift at Stella's cafe this novel is about the friendship between Hannah and Mona. Hannah is a singer/waitress and Mona is a dancer/waitress. They share a tiny flat,are best friends and work alternating shifts at the café. As Hannah begins her shift she reflects on a terrible year - a bad relationship,her singing isn't really going well and she feels lost. Her only positive is Mona, but she knows deep down that she has neglected her recently. When Mona's shift begins she has some news that will change both their lives dramatically. Her shift is spent reflecting on all the little ways her life has changed with Hannah.

I loved this book,neither Hannah or Mona are perfect but their friendship is portrayed brilliantly. Close friends who rely on each other and how that changes over time. The surrounding characters in the cafe are really well written - little vignettes of life: the sofa surfing student whose mom has died, the gay couple facing deportation for one of them, the new mom struggling to cope. They drift in and out within the 24 hours adding to the story.

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I really enjoyed reading this book. Libby Page writes about ordinary people who we can easily relate to. I loved The Lido and The 24hour Cafe is every bit as good. Made a nice change from crime books!

Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this book.

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Felt as though I was people watching throughout the book. So many people went to the cafe and I was the onlooker participating in their stories. Very thoughtful writing about personalities and their problems, passions or day to day life - an enjoyable story

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The ultimate people watching book based around a complete 24 hours in a 24 hour cafe, with background stories of a diverse selection of customers who visit it, especially at odd hours during the night. Brilliantly told and linked together through the eyes of two waitresses, Mona and Hannah, who are the main characters with their own stories to tell. A brilliant second novel after The Lido by Libby Page and just as compelling as it's just about ordinary folk with ordinary life situations that we all come across and can relate to. Well worth a read and highly recommended.

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I really enjoyed The Lido, which I was lucky enough to read and review on #NetGalley prior to publication a couple of years ago. I have since bought it for friends and recommended it to others. I was very excited for the opportunity to read and review Libby Page's second novel, the 24-Hour Cafe. I was not disappointed. I actually think I enjoyed it more than the Lido! I know from author friends that writing your second book is a big challenge, especially when the first book has been a success. So I am really delighted that #The24-HourCafe is so good.
The cafe in question is near to a busy London mainline and Tube station and is an oasis for those who need a coffee and a rest at anytime of the day and night. Those who work there are the main characters , but the customers provide us with cameos and short stories within the novel. I thought this worked really well and I could envisage every one of them.
A story of friendship, kindness and London. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Thank you so much to Libby Page, her publishers and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this lovely book.

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A 24/7 cafe who has various people going through its doors day and night. Opposite Liverpool Street station the cafe story is that of 2 waitresses and various customers. I like the style. Each chapter tells the story from a customer point of view and then one of the waitresses Hannah or Mona. As in all relationships there are highs and lows and the author keeps us guessing until the final page the final outcome Thanks Libby Page and NetGalley

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Thanks to netgalley for a chance to read this book.

This book follows the story of a 24 hour cafe in London. The two main characters are Mona and Hannah who work at the cafe, sharing the 24 hour shift. It tells their story and the customers stories.

Brilliant book, easy read.

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Have you ever had that feeling where you just want to climb inside a book and live there? That's how I felt about The 24-Hour Café, a delightful, heartwarming story that warmed my insides like hot chocolate on a cold day.

The story takes place over twenty-four hours at Stella’s, a London café that has a style all of its own, sharing glimpses of the lives of two of its waitresses, best friends Hannah and Mona, and some of its customers. Over the course of the day we get to know these people, see what they’re going through, what matters to them and how their interactions with each other affect their lives, some in ways they don’t expect. It is a story about life, love, friendships, dreams and heartache. We see people at their best and their worst, when they are at their happiest and when their life is falling apart.

At the centre of the story is Hannah and Mona. The friends both live and work together, the café providing them with flexible conditions perfect for continuing to chase their dream careers - Hannah of being a singer, Mona of being a dancer. They’ve always been more like sisters than friends but this past year, things have changed and they’ve grown apart. Can they fix their problems or are things broken forever? That question is underlying over the course of the book and I was so invested in these characters that I was rooting for things to be fixed.

I devoured this book in under twenty-four hours and just couldn’t put it down. It was an easy but immersive read, with interesting characters that felt real and relatable. I immediately cared about Hannah, our first narrator, and felt the same about each character as they were introduced. I loved the different stories the author created for each narrator and how she made me genuinely care about them individually. The writing was uplifting and alluring, transporting me to this world that felt real, the vivid descriptions of Stella’s making me want to hop on a train to London and go there.

The 24-Hour Café snuck in at the very end of the year to take a place in my top books of 2019. It is a book that manages to be quietly understated and dazzling at the same time and I predict this will be on everyone’s must-read list in 2020. If you’re looking for a delicious, captivating and touching read, this is the book for you.

Thank you to Orion books and Netgalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved The Lido, and Libby Page’s follow up is an equally lovely read. It follows 24 hours in the life of the eponymous 24-hour cafe - Stella’s, opposite London’s busy Liverpool Street station - and two of its waitresses, best friends Mona and Hannah. Over one day the cafe witnesses large and small events in the lives of its patrons - a proposal, a newly wed couple, a woman struggling with motherhood, a young man grieving a profound loss - as well as changes and challenges in the lives of its staff, reflecting the diverse tapestry of life in the city.

A delightful read, well worth your time.

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As part of a reading challenge I had to read a book written by someone with the same name as me – and I LOVED The Lido by Libby Page. So when I saw her next book was out – I asked for an advanced review copy from Netgalley and was granted my wish, in exchange for a review – so here is my review!

First of all, the blurb:
“Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.
Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.
Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s futures will be changed and their friendship tested. Today is just the start, but it is also marks a conclusion. Because all beginnings are also endings. And all endings can also be beginnings…”

Initially I wondered how this was going to work – as it appeared to be a chapter per hour that the 24 cafe was open. There was only so much making coffee and wiping tables that would be interesting – but I need not have worried! Although that is the premise of the chapters – there are lots of flashbacks to historical events that help shape the current position of the protagonists.
The main characters narrating the chapters are Hannah and Mona – friends and colleagues – and you learn about how they met and their back story as the 24 hour progresses. This is interwoven with the lives of the customers to the cafe – who are wide ranging.
Just as with The Lido, Ms Page has a brilliant way of writing about normal life and making it interesting and endearing. I found that with most of the characters I was immediately invested in their futures.
I have to say I though Hannah should have had a bit of a slap on numerous occasions by Mona – deffing out your girlfriends for a bloke is such a shortsighted thing to do – but it is incredibly well written and believable.
The descriptions of the café itself are excellent – and you really feel like you’ve been and sat in one of its booths. If I ever walk out of Liverpool St Station I’ll be looking around for Stella’s!
All of the customers are interesting, and the interactions between them and the staff members are written beautifully – and I absolutely LOVED that the final chapter is a year down the road and you find out what has happened / is happening to loads of them. I also love the fact it isn’t all hearts and flowers and happy endings dished out to everyone – it is real, and true, and what actually happens to people IRL.
This is a fabulous, escapist read – with no violence, graphic sex, bad language (I don’t think – although I guess it’s all relative..) – just a really lovely book. I would highly recommend you buy it when it comes out in January 2020.

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I really enjoyed The Lido before and this was one of the anticipated releases for me. I love Page's story telling, characters and stories that has some sort of sadness ending up with hope and joy.
Eventually, this was definitely an enjoyable read with good storytelling.

Thanks a lot to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Like The Lido, The 24 Hour Cafe is also set in London and if anyone deserves a medal for championing London then Libby Page should be at the head of the queue. Her love of the city oozes out of every page with her observations of the sights and sounds and people.
The 24 Hour Cafe centres around Hannah. a singer and Mona, a dancer. As they both struggle to find jobs they work double shifts in the 24 hour cafe to make ends meet. The story revolves around them and the various customers who come to eat and drink there over a 24 hour period.
I enjoyed the format of the book the characters are very well drawn and likeable and the story was well paced. It is a story about friendship, love, loss and life.
I loved it!

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This book is a beautiful web of stories within stories, a network of people connected a visit to a 24 hour cafe. It is so simple but yet so complex all at the same time.

The main story is of the the two waitress who work in the 24 hours, their dreams, their past and their friendship but then there is also mini stories of the customers who come into the cafe, glimpses at people during their best and worst times and how just having a quiet place to go can make all the difference.

Page just has an absolute way with works and I can now see why so many people rave about her work. I will definitely be moving The Lido to the top of my TBR pile.

This book made me cry with the truths captured in its pages, the heart break written so beautifully. This book really will stay with me for a long, long time. I will be sending a copy to all those friends I have lost touch with who have left a hole in my soul and I urge you to read it.

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I would give this a million stars if I could.

This book was one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2020, and I had a major dance party when I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC. The 24-Hour Café is centred around a café/diner in London, where people can find comfort at all hours of the day. Hannah and Mona are two of the cafe's waitresses, creatives trying to find their place in the world at the same time as affording their rent. The book is multiple POV, but the first half of the novel is largely shepherded by Hannah, and the second by Mona, with snippets from the café patrons and alternate staff dotted throughout for extra character.

For a book set up in this way, I consider it to be an act of brilliance to create a story where both halves of the book are just as great. I thought I'd be sad to transfer from Hannah to Mona, but within minutes I loved Mona just as much as I loved her friend/roommate/colleague. This 24-hour slice of life follows a pivotal moment in their friendship - at thirty, the girls are forced to question their decision to follow creative passions, and to continue working in the café environment when so many of their friends have moved on and followed more traditional paths. Mona is finally catching her big break after so many years, whereas Hannah's own life feels stagnant, and she is reeling from the aftermath of an unhealthy romantic relationship. Both girls know the struggle of a creative passion, and how it can shape your life, so well. As a writer myself, currently working in a café, this resonated with me so highly. This book captured a lot of my feelings so accurately, as well as the fond memories that you collect when interacting with so many customers on a daily basis. Not only was this a look into the many stories of customers in a café, but also a closer look at hospitality staff, and the thoughts behind the people pouring your coffee on your morning commute.

Speaking of customers, the snippets of alternate POV from passing customers is what made the novel such a great one. I think it leaves a lasting impression long after turning the final page; that you interact on a surface level with so many people daily, but you can never truly know their story. From POVs such as John, the big issue seller outside the café, Monique, a woman struggling with post-natal depression, and Joe & Haziq, a young couple struggling with immigration laws, the book gives such a wide and thought provoking variation of life experiences. The way that the novel ended wrapped it all up so well, and I shed a tear for some of the characters that I had grown to love. At the end of the day this is a novel about growing up, the complexities of friendship,. and the many stories that people have. I have not loved a book like this for a long time, and I cannot wait to purchase the physical copy when it comes out, so that I can read it all over again.

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I loved this book (and the cafe!).
Although the two main characters and their stories were extremely engaging I actually preferred the customers whose stories were just touched on in the book- particularly the couple being separated by immigration law and the elderly couple re-finding love.
The way the story, for the main part, covered a single 24 hour period in the cafe was a great premise and the dipping out of the 24 hours to cover some back stories did not detract from the pace at all.
The ordinariness of the characters, their situations and their problems drew me into the cafe far more than anything overtly dramatic ever could have done and made the setting and the people all the more real.
A great read with a lovely ending.

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I absolutely adored this book!

Hannah and Mona are waitresses at Stella's, a 24-hour a day cafe in London. During their shifts, they see all sorts of people coming in and out, and this book does give a short snapshot of a few of the customers they get in. Everyone has a story, and some of them get told in here.

However, the book is about female friendship, and how important that actually is to women. A strong female friendship is something to treasure and never take for granted, and it is the sometimes rocky path that this friendship takes that is charted here.

I loved these two main characters. They are flawed people but they are strong and determined as well. One is a dancer, the other a singer. They are getting older though and competition for jobs in their industries is fierce. At what point do you give up on your dream? Do you do a bit of lateral thinking about how to make a living or do you keep on pushing on?

Such a gorgeous, complex tale. I loved every single part of it.

5 stars from me. Wish I could give it more! I just wanted to keep on reading....

Thank you to TBC and Orion :)

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I loved this book. I enjoyed how the friendship between Hannah and Mona grew the friends they met in between. The cafe where people come form friendships. The girls get to know the regulars their lives, loves & loses . It was good to see friendships formed and relationships between the older couple. I enjoyed how the author developed the characters and went into depth about them. The ending was lovely. I look forward to the next book from this author.
I will recommend this book to both family and friends.
Many thanks to both the author and net galley for allowing me to read this book.

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This is a gorgeous quirky read set in a 24 hour cafe in London. Based primarily around friends, flat mates and waitresses Hannah and Mona it explores their lives both as friends and individuals through current events, recollections and flashbacks. Their thoughts are well represented and offer two contrasting views on their friendship, both of which I felt sympathy for. It also features some mini stories of customers which offer a great extension to the main story but are also very well written in their own right. This is a fabulous book that really makes you wonder about the stories of those we pass by.

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'The 24-Hour Cafe' by Libby Page was featured on Caboodle from National Book Tokens.

Did you love The Lido, Libby Page's stunning Sunday Times bestselling debut about community, friendship and outdoor swimming? In January 2020, Orion will publish The 24-Hour Café, Libby's brand new novel set over the course of one life-changing day in a busy city café, following the lives of waitresses Hannah and Mona and the community they are at the centre of.

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After loving her first book, I was delighted to get a chance to read Ms Page’s second, through Netgalley. And I wasn’t disappointed! Beautifully crafted, a tale of the people who work in Stella’s welcoming cafe, and of those who visit, through a 24 hour period.
Hannah and Mona have a special relationship, a friendship that should go on forever, through troubles and happinesses. But will it survive this?
I loved the way that many ends were tied up at the end of the book, even though some I’d maybe have preferred to not know.

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I loved The Lido, so was intrigued to see what Libby Page's next book would be like and I wasn't disappointed. The author's love of London and the people who belong to the communities within the city shines strongly through her writing and is impossible to resist, as it draws you into the threads of people's lives brought together by their connections, however brief, in Stella's Cafe. The strong female friendship at the core of the story between Hannah and Mona is bittersweet in it's portrayal of how easy it is to hurt those we hold closest and compliments the other stories interweaving around it. A moving, thoughtful story that gets under your skin.

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A really good read. Mona and Hannah are best friends and both have dreams to become successful Mona as a dancer and Hannah as a singer. While they are waiting for their big break they start working in the cafe. It's while they are working that each of them decide what they really want to do. The story alternates between the two of them as they see the customers come and go all with different stories to tell. A story of friendship and life changes that tell the story behind the faces of the customers in the 24hour cafe

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I absolutely adored this book. Set in a 24 hour cafe there are two halves to this book - the one focusing on the friendship between Hannah and Mona and the other telling the stories of all the people who frequent the cafe. I found that I loved both halves but especially loved all of the scenes with the customers, particularly as the book progressed and some of them reappeared.

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I loved The Lido, so I was very excited to read The 24-hour Café. It didn't disappoint! Libby Page has such a wonderful way of writing about normal people, opening them up and showing us that strangers are all characters, and that everybody has an inner life and a story. I read this in two sittings – a great read.

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I loved Libby’s new book - she perfectly captures the intensity of female friendship at that stage of life when you’re yet to find your way. The device of 24 hours, giving Hannah and Mona 12 hours each, was so clever, and I loved the stories of the customers too. A beautiful and heartfelt read.

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