by Lorie Lewis Ham
We chose to post this on November 20 in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book a link to purchase it from Amazon.
BeatNikki’s Café may be one of the most relevant novels I have read this year, with its realistic portrayal of the horrific treatment of the transgender community in the US over the last few years. It is set during the first summer of the Trump presidency.
Nikki Finch is a trans woman with a successful business in Chicago—she owns and runs the popular Beaknik café called BeakNikki. But her life is turned upside down when neo-Nazi thugs attack her business partner and begin terrorizing her, her family, and her staff. And as if that wasn’t enough, her former wife is possibly dying from cancer, and their difficult teenage daughter Morgan has to move in with Nikki. Her relationship with Morgan has been bad ever since Nikki came out. Will being thrown together like this change that or make things worse? The trouble with the neo-Nazis ends up putting her daughter in danger, and Nikki begins to feel like her only option is to kill or be killed. But what kind of example will that be for her daughter? And can she actually go through with it? And is the new man in her life for real, or a part of a scheme to buy her building?
This was, at times, a very difficult book to read because of what Nikki goes through—but how much more difficult it must be to live as a trans person in this day and age. BeatNikki draws you in with wonderful, interesting, and diverse characters that you come to care about. The story is powerful and all too realistic. BeatNikki’s Café will break your heart but also have you cheering for Nikki and her friends and hoping they will beat the bad guys and be a part of a better future. Walk in Nikki’s shoes through these pages, and you will never be the same! I highly recommend this book. It may be an emotional roller coaster, but it is well worth the ride.
To enter to win a copy of BeatNikki’s Cafe (ebook or print-winner’s choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “beatnik” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 4, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.