The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

Lighthearted fun with a touch of romance, set mostly in Paris and with frequent references (and recipes) with chocolate: it is hard to go wrong!  Jenny Colgan introduces us to Anna, a supervisor in a chocolate factory in England.  When she has an accident and loses two toes, she finds her roommate at the hospital is her French Teacher Claire. When Claire uses her influence to give Anna a chance at a change in scenery and a new opportunity, the story really takes hold and thrusts the reader into Paris and the kitchen of a famous chocolatier.

Thierry is a master chocolatier and his shop, Le Chapeau Chocolat is a favorite of many. He also found his muse in Claire and her reminiscences run through the story to correlate Anna’s journey and discoveries, to the moments that informed her own life. 

What emerges is a lovely story that brings a woman, perhaps squandering her potential in favor of security and the known and by adjusting her living situation, she learns to find the potential in herself.  She is faced with several challenges in her new city, but rather than allowing them to defeat her, she is enchanted by the differences, and finds potential and reconnects with her own dreams, long dormant.

Throughout the story, as Anna learns to craft fine chocolates using only premium ingredients, she finds a balance in the beauty and specialness of the city, and what is truly important in a life.  As her skill with the chocolates grows her self-awareness also increases.  Whether the confidence and success of one informs the other or allows her to learn and make mistakes she would otherwise have shied away from isn’t wholly clear, but simply irrelevant.  The city, Anna and the chocolates all come to life in distinctly unique yet parallel lines.

First person narration from Anna, and the third person reminiscences and reflections from Claire provide lovely description, feel and definition to the city and the story.  Seeing Paris through Anna’s eyes is a lovely technique, bringing areas and elements of the city to light that perhaps are missed, or unseen by those more familiar. Also, the story is liberally peppered with hints and tips for handling chocolate, as well as some recipes for home-crafted treats that I am hoping to test out just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Quick reading, fun and funny with a light touch of romance, this is a lovely story. And, it is Paris after all.

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

Title: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris
Author: Jenny Colgan
Published by: Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 383
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound AudibleDirect from Publisher
See this Title on Goodreads

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.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Jenny Colgan

Jenny T. Colgan was born in 1972 in Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, UK. After studying at Edinburgh University, she worked for six years in the health service, moonlighting as a cartoonist and a stand-up comic, before the publication of her first novel Amanda's Wedding in 2000. In 2013, her novel "Welcome to Rosie Hopkin's Sweetshop of Dreams" won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association. She is now working on her next novel.

She is married with Andrew, a marine engineer, and had three children, Wallace, Michael-Francis, and Delphie. She mostly lives in France, with frequent visits to London. She occasionally writes for The Guardian newspaper, as well as a TV series.

Her Doctor Who novel Dark Horizons is published under the name J.T. Colgan.

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