Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Books Read: Jenny Colgan - The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris.

It's a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime - to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate - and herself - than she ever dreamed.

In recent years Jenny Colgan's books have been a dieter's worst nightmare with book titles such as Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe and now with her latest book, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris... how are you supposed to diet with such a tempting reading!   

Whilst recovering in hospital after a freak accident at the chocolate factory she worked at, Anna realises that Claire, the lady in the next bed to her, is her old friend teacher Mrs Shawcourt.  With only each other for company they strike up a unique friendship that helps them make the best of their time in hospital.  

When Anna is ready to finally leave home she is worried as to how she will adapt and what she'll do with herself now that she has no job to go to... which is when Claire steps in and tells her that she's arranged for Anna to go to Paris to work in a chocolate shop owned by her old friend Thierry.  

Told in alternate parts we get to see how both women experience everything that Paris has to offer... Claire's memories from her experience as an Au Pair in 1972 which is when she met Thierry, and Anna's modern day experiences.   The one thing that both women have in common is that when they first arrive in Paris they were insecure young women but both soon blossom during their stay in the city of love...

Once again Jenny Colgan has found the perfect balance, the story has a bit of everything in it, humour - you can't help but laugh when you read about how Anna's accident came about, sadness when you realise how ill Claire is and love...both new and old.   And as for the food descriptions... not just the chocolate... I dare you not to crave food whilst reading this book.

I'd like to thank Jo at Sphere for sending me a copy of this book to review.

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