The Diner by The Lake
by Danial Suits

"The start of an idea is done and it will be turning the idea into something real that will dictate the rest of their lives."

Dreams and ambition light a match, but it’s the plodding, consistent, day-by-day grind of committed hard work and determination that realize a goal. This textbook recipe for success finds an unlikely poster child in recent college graduate Lindsey Chastain, a lovely and unassuming young woman so unexpectedly poised with the ingredients for success that even her best friends doubt her ability when, just a week out of school, she announces her intent to open a diner. Soon enough, when the rest of the county is eating Lindsey’s popular fare, Lindsey’s doubters are eating their words.

As for Lindsey, she motors on. Through securing a small business bank loan for styling, hiring up, and running her soon-thriving restaurant, Lindsey proceeds at an even pace, as if a mental metronome reminds her to steadily tackle only the manageable task ahead of her and via such discipline eventually conquer all. In a world that is ever racing to swallow whole the proverbial elephant, Lindsey chews one unhurried bite at a time, emerging calm, sated, and ever hungry for her next small meal.

What inner strength propels a young woman like Lindsey? On the surface, she is one of many: a pretty enough Pennsylvania girl stepping out of college into a chasm of possibilities. Yet her simple drive and grit, her ability to filter out negative forces and believe in herself are startling and admirable. Where does such fortitude originate, and where can the rest of us get some? Characters like Lindsey capture something essential, crossing mundane human experiences with extraordinary displays of excellence. How many 21-year-olds with far more means have achieved far less?

Beside Lindsey in her quest for the diner is her best friend Danica. The two young women share a trust that only deepens as they apply and transfer the best of their friendship into a thriving business partnership. Some of the book’s most quietly poignant and profound moments come in the steady support these two women give to each other. In a cutthroat world of zero-sum doubters, Lindsey and Danica want the best for each other and act accordingly.

Likewise, cocooning the story of Lindsey and the diner is her courtship and love story with Jake Dawson, a real estate developer who hears about the diner and comes to town only to fall for Lindsey. While Jake is real, and their slow, gentle romance is genuine, he also functions as an allegory for the reader and for any observer of Lindsey. This young woman is a marvel and a delight to behold, and as Jake falls in love with her, so too does anyone who admires the fundamentals of hard work, focus, kindness, and candor that Lindsey brings to all she does.

Following on the heels of the often-maligned millennial generation, who are cited for lazy and entitled workplace attitudes, Lindsey is a member of a new literary generation. As a “new adult” character, she offers an enticing mix of youth, ambition, and vision. Goodbye, lost generation; hello, compelling new characters with moxie to spare. Need a place to meet and discuss your plans for world domination? Lindsey serves great sweet tea at the diner.

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