This is a truly amazing story of an immigrant family from the former Czechoslovakia. Fleeing the Russian occupation of the country in 1968, the Milosh family (seven in all) arrived in Hobart in 1969. Their former identities didn’t mean a thing upon their arrival in this alien country. As Jenny puts it : ‘We were like newborns.’ But here they hoped for a new, better life, free from political persecution.
The family was lucky in that people were kind to them and offered friendship and English lessons and within a few weeks most of the household were employed. The menial jobs brought in badly need money and with her English improving, Jenny found herself in a better position , often juggling two jobs at a time. On the social side there were outings with friends and her days were packed to the rafters. Soon, however, Jenny’s marriage was on the rocks and she was despairing about what to do.
Eventually Jenny opened Jenny’s Coffee House which was an instant success. But her monetary comfort and the building of her dream home were overshadowed by a family member’s sudden illness. The word ‘inspired’ is so often misused in reviews, but this is indeed a story of inspiration and hope.
Birgit Collins,Good Reading Magazine July, 2009 (Highly recommended)
(I) was soon won over by Yenni’s (or ‘Jenny’s’) frank writing and optimism. Indeed, Jenny’s Coffee House is no misery memoir, instead offering an honest, unsentimental, and self-deprecating look into Williams’ life as a newly arrived migrant familiarising herself with not just the language, but with Australian customs and colloquialisms.
Australian Bookseller & Publisher March 2009.