Review: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Release Date:  February 4, 2014
Publisher:  Sourcebooks
Pages: 384
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

Inside Paris’s premiere chocolate shop, sometimes dreams really can come true.

It’s true that Anna Trent is a supervisor in a chocolate factory…but that doesn’t necessarily mean she knows how to make chocolate. And when a fateful accident gives her the opportunity to work at Paris’s elite chocolatier Le Chapeau Chocolat, Anna expects to be outed as a fraud. After all, there is a world of difference between chalky, mass-produced English chocolate and the gourmet confections Anna’s new boss creates. But with a bit of luck and a lot of patience, Anna might learn that the sweetest things in life are always worth working for.

Hopeful, laugh-out-loud funny, and irresistibly addictive, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris is a novel worth savoring.

 

Review:  All kinds of things can lead to love: turning a corner and meeting someone, online dating, blind dates…but how about losing two toes in a freak accident to send you on a path to love and happiness?  That’s what happens to Anna Trent in The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris.

Anna has worked at a chocolate factory for ten years in her tiny English village.  A freak accident lands her in the hospital for weeks where she becomes roommates with her former French teacher, Claire, who is suffering from cancer.  With both of them bored to tears, Claire begins teaching Anna the French language she didn’t pay attention to in high school.  Eventually, Anna heals enough to go home to her parent’s house, but is at loose ends.  She can’t go back to her factory job, and she doesn’t know what to do with her life until Claire steps in and sends her to a former lover’s chocolate shop in Paris.   Thierry’s way of making chocolate is completely foreign to Anna – made fresh each and every day, these chocolates sell out every day.  Although she has worked in a chocolate factory for so long, she has no idea how chocolate is actually made, especially these delectable, creamy, extraordinary chocolates (drool).

A near tragedy has left Anna holding the spatula when she has to step in and make the chocolate herself.  Relying on her boss’ estranged son for help, Anna sets out to prove to herself, and indeed, all of Paris, that she can succeed.

While this is mainly Anna’s story, it is told through several viewpoints. The author also takes us through the sweet love story of Claire and Thierry – how they met and fell in love, and also how they were separated.

Anna learns to depend on herself, pushing herself to try new things in a foreign country, and putting herself out there in new relationships.  Convinced men will think she’s a freak with her loss of two toes, she’s afraid to put her heart on the line.  But eventually she meets a man larger than life who sees the real Anna, and she decides the risk is worth it all.

At times funny, sweet, and poignant, I was a sobbing wreck by the end of the book.  I really enjoyed this newest effort by Jenny Colgan. Definitely a must-read for a wonderful love story, and if you’re a fan of chocolate AND Paris!

 

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