Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sunday Salon & Review: The Chocolate Lover's Club by Carole Matthews

After a busy week, I'm a bit behind (as usual) on my reviews AND my grading! On Friday night I went to our local Festival of Trees. All of the revenue made from decorations and trees sold go to Primary Children's Hospital, and is supposed to be their biggest fund raiser of the year. I will say that it was pretty fun, but the crowds were a bit much. I'm assuming that everyone decided that Friday night was the night to go see the trees! Below is a tree dedicated to Harry Potter, which I thought was pretty cute.

On this Sunday, I won't be reading much until later in the evening, as I'll be at a family Christmas Party. However, I thought it would be fun to share a quick review of another book I read recently, The Chocolate Lover's Club, by Carole Matthews. If the title doesn't say it all, I don't know what does.

Synopsis: The basic premise of the novel is that four women, all good friends, meet together in a local chocolatier to discuss their lives. Each of the women have different family or relationship issues that plague them. The main story seems to center around Lucy Lombard, who finds that her boyfriend has cheated on her, but each woman in the group also takes a turn having her story told. Two of the women are married and having serious problems with their marriages, while the final friend is having trouble with her drug addicted brother. On the whole, it is a life story that shows the diverse ways women deal with modern issues and problems.

Review: I really wanted to like this book, but have to say that the "chocolate" was only a backdrop. I didn't expect it to take center stage, but a girl can wish can't she? :) The two married women had seriously flawed relationships with their husbands. I think that these were realistic situations, but overblown in the case of the couple not having sex, which drove the wife to illicit sexual encounters. The one single woman was mainly dealing with a brother on drugs, and the main female protagonist of the story had a flaky, cheating boyfriend and trouble holding down a job.

In all, the story was engaging. Please understand when I say that I was totally engaged in the story; however, I did wish that I could have just dealt with the main character, for instance, rather than bouncing from character to character. I realize this is a popular technique right now, but I really wanted to understand more about each individual story. With
a bit more understanding, I might have not felt that it was being over dramatic. In the end, I started to feel like I was reading a soap opera on paper. The elements were there for an amazing story, but maybe just needed a bit more depth added to certain individuals so that you could relate to them more? (For more information see: The Chocolate Lovers' Club. This book was one I checked out of the local library.)

I love stories that deal with decadent things like lovely chocolate or gourmet foods. Even if it's only in the backdrop, there's something fun about a book that mentions something sweet or yummy sounding. Maybe it's because I can't get any calories from them?
What is it about books that talk about food in them? I still remember reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and loving the scenes that talked about all the great things that Almonzo would eat. To this day it still makes me smile to think about those scenes. Thankfully people haven't been bringing goodies to work to torture me with, but reading about decadent goodies instead of eating them doesn't hurt, right? Then again, I'd love a box of these from Jacques Torres...(his hot chocolate is the best I've ever had).

Happy Sunday, and I hope you're reading something decadent and yummy!


  1. I hope so, too.

    This seems like an unrealistic situation to me. If I met anyone at a chocolatier's, I wouldn't be talking about my life's problems. I'd be too busy stuffing my face. The only dialog I'd have would be "Om nom nom nom." ;)

  2. Great review! I saw this at the library and wondered about it, but after reading your review I'm not sure this would be for me.

    You did make me want some chocolate though!