Skip to main content

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe


Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe

Most of us are familiar with the name Max Lucado, an author and preacher who is known for his inspiring (and bestselling) nonfiction books. Lucado certainly knows how to paint incredible pictures with his words and offer fresh insight into the scriptures. After establishing himself as a nonfiction author, with over 92 million copies of his books sold around the world, Lucado has decided to try his talented hand at something new. His first offering in the adult fiction genre is MIRACLE AT THE HIGHER GROUNDS CAFÉ, written with Candace Lee and Eric Newman. Already, this book is creating a positive buzz.

Chelsea Chambers recently left her NFL superstar husband, Sawyer, because he cheated on her. Trying to adjust to the title of “Single Parent” and create a new life for herself and her two children, Chelsea has decided to reopen her mother’s coffee shop, the Higher Grounds Café, located in downtown San Antonio. The café is in need of an update, but Chelsea hopes the old-fashioned feel, along with her delicious cupcakes, will be enough to draw people in and keep them coming back. However, things get off to a slow start. Even worse, she receives a notice from the IRS that her mother owes a heap of back taxes that she doesn’t know how she’s going to pay. Especially since she also discovers that the nest egg she thought she had has been squandered away by her soon-to-be ex-husband. In Chelsea’s mind, this is just one more reason to follow through with the divorce.

"MIRACLE AT THE HIGHER GROUNDS CAFÉ could have been cheesy, with its light tone, cute humor, and somewhat unlikely heaven-meets-earth storyline. Instead, it is delightful and heartfelt, with moments of complete believability."

On her first day of business, a Hispanic man shows up at the café, and Chelsea feels as if she has met him before. Manny assures her that he just has “one of those familiar faces” and has just moved to the area, looking for work. At that moment, the espresso machine goes haywire. Manny expertly steps in and fixes it within minutes. Chelsea then offers him a job.

Readers soon learn that Manny is Chelsea’s guardian angel, sent to earth on assignment. Manny is thrilled for the opportunity to do everything he can to carry Chelsea through the challenges she is facing.

When a couple of people show up offering the café a free modem for wireless Internet connection, Chelsea accepts it, hoping the technology will help boost business. But, strangely, the only website that patrons are able to access is one quickly coined as The God Blog. This blog allows each person to ask one question, which is then apparently answered by God. Although there are many skeptics, the answers are much too personal for any human to pull off. Due to The God Blog --- the instant connection to heaven --- business at the Higher Grounds Café is suddenly booming, bringing in more money than Chelsea could have ever hoped for. And, more than that, the blog is bolstering faith and bringing hope to everyone who utilizes it.

MIRACLE AT THE HIGHER GROUNDS CAFÉ could have been cheesy, with its light tone, cute humor, and somewhat unlikely heaven-meets-earth storyline. Instead, it is delightful and heartfelt, with moments of complete believability. After all, God is infinitely greater than the most advanced technology, and is there really any limit to the ways He will work in the lives of those He loves?

While Chelsea’s story is the main focus, Manny steals the show as a charming, engaging and endearing guardian angel who wears baseball caps, trips over his own feet, and becomes enthralled with Star Wars movies.

Lucado’s first attempt at fiction is a huge success. As with his nonfiction books, readers are treated to a delightful style of writing that ultimately inspires, entertains, and offers a sincere look at the heart of God and the abundant love He has for His creation. Not to mention it just may restore your own belief that God is still in the Miracle business.

Definitely one for the Keeper shelf.

Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on March 23, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe
by Max Lucado, with Candace Lee and Eric Newman

  • Publication Date: February 10, 2015
  • Genres: Christian, Christian Fiction, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN-10: 0718000889
  • ISBN-13: 9780718000882