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Bailey's Cafe

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A "moving and memorable" novel about a cafe where everyone has a story to tell from the award-winning author of The Women of Brewster Place (The Boston Globe). In post-World War II Brooklyn, on a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Painfully Beautiful

Umph. That's about all I can say. This is far from what people would consider a Christian novel, there is cursing, violence and sorts of goings on. Yet there's more scripture in it than a few Christian novels I read lately and more truth too. Bailey's Cafe isn't defined by just one character, but rather it's world, a way station on the edge of any city anywhere, the place before there's no more places. Each day only one thing is offered, chicken one day, corn beef hash the next. There are no menus. Each customer decides whether to stay or go. Bailey is careful not to cook too carefully or people might actually think they're coming for food. They're not. These folks, churchy Miss Cassie who comes to doom everyone to hell, Sugar Man the short pimp, Sadie [...] who carries herself with such class the glass mugs turn to china in her hands . . . And we aren't even going to start on the maid, Miss Maple, a straight man who finds comfort in summer dresses. These are the folks of Bailey's Cafe. And that's just the beginning of it. Across the street there is a Jewish pawn shop that never opens except to tell people to go elsewhere and a blossoming home for women called Eve's, which one can only find if you know what to ask. "No woman finds this place until she's ready for it," Eve says. And she's right. God didn't let me read this book until I was ready. And thankfully, I will never recover. Use your discretion on this one. It ain't for the faint of heart.

Should've Made A Movie Based On This Book

I read this book about a year ago and I must say that this was one of the best novels I've read and my first of Gloria Naylor's. I plan on reading it again and I am sure to get something new out of it. As other reviewers have commented, the stories of the customers of BAILEY'S CAFE are sad, inspirational and funny at the sametime. I've heard that all the customers are actually dead, ghosts caught in bewteen life and death. There was a hint of this when I first read it but I didn't quite pick up on it. Well, I have yet to any other novel from Naylor. This novel talks about issues of racism, class status and there's a little religion and philosophy intertwined in the mix. A great read!

Why I Loved The Cafe ...................

This book made me want to jump inside and take a seat in the cafe. I mean, I am a college student and I missed some class trying to read this book. From the first page, Ms. Naylor sucks you in with what I call poetry in motion. The words were so beautiful that it was hard to belive you were reading stories of tragedy. From Mrs. Maple the transvestite to Sadie whose mother often referred to her as "the one the clothes hanger missed", it was hard to believe that there are people in the world going through these kinds of tragedies. I dont' want to give the storyline away, but if you want a different type of read, not the kind you read in an hour and forget about then this is the book. I am still sitting here wondering abotu the characters lives and what they would be doing.

Bailey's It's what's for dinner!

This is the first Naylor book I ever read. I have now read them all. This book, along with Mama Day and to some extent Linden Hills put her in my trinty of greatest living writers, along with Morrison and Kingsolver. The technique of introducing us to the "customers" at Bailey's is a great way to tie together so many wonderful stories. All of her characters are beautiful, sweet sad and doomed. Between the happy little wife who becomes a wino prostitute and the little delta girl who can never wash the delta dust off, I cried and I fell in love a hundred times (and I'm a big tough souther nwhite male). I notice some of the other reviewers had a hard time "following" Naylor at times. My suggestion is just ride the story, do not try to see what's coming or what she means. It is like the most wonderful meal in the world, put it in your mouth and savor it, don't spend too much time trying to figure out what the chef was thinking, its all about taste and feel. This is one of the 10 best books written since Faulkner died, in my opinion, and Mama Day is another of those 10. Enjoy!


Bailey's Cafe is full of life and change. The one constant in life is change and the characters of this book have gone through several changes. This book depicts very honest descriptive portrals of each character and no one character is alike or even simular. Over the past seven years, I have read the book twice, it is a very easy read. Since Bailey's Cafe, I've been waiting for the next Gloria Nalor book. Until then, I'll keep enjoying my favorites Mamma Day and Bailey's Cafe. I hope that those reading this review will purchase or borrow this book, you won't regret it. I've learned some interesting ways to prepare desserts!
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