12 March 2013

Book Review: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

"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."

Rating: 5/5

You can pre-order The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris as a paperback or an eBook now.

I loved this book so much. I almost think I could stop the review there because that is really all there is so say about it! It draws you in and is just beautifully written, interesting, tantalising and just all round brilliant to read, and I think this is my favourite of Jenny Colgan's books I have read so far. I was wondering how much of it would be set in the lovely city of Paris, and the answer is pretty much all of it. Although I've been to Paris a fair few times in my life, I wouldn't say I know it very well or am particularly enamored by it so I was hoping Colgan would be able to persuade me otherwise.

The characters are absolutely fantastic in the book, and they are what really draws you in because you care about them and want to find out what happened to them all by the end of the book. Our leading lady is Anna, a young woman who suffers a bit of an unfortunate accident at work and finds herself bored in hospital and out of a job. Surprisingly, she bumps into her old french teacher Claire who is desperately unwell. Claire persuades Anna to take her life into her own hands and do something exciting, and so she ups and leaves to Paris to work in a world famous chocolate shop under the watchful eye of Claire's old friend Thierry. But is it just chocolate Anna will making whilst she's in Paris?

Jenny Colgan really manages to bring the city of Paris to life in the book, and writes about it so evocatively you feel as if you are there with Anna, Thierry and co making chocolate in their shop! Everything from the streets to the buildings to the landmarks are so beautifully described that you can picture them when you close your eyes and that was one of my favourite things about this book. I also found the way Colgan wrote about the chocolate and Thierry's processes for making it were just magical - it seemed like so much more than just chocolate and it was mesmerising to read it, especially the way Thierry worked. I was totally lost in the pages of this and it actually made wonder what goes into the chocolate that I eat lol!

One of my favourite bits of the book though (shock horror... not the chocolate!) was Claire's story which is interspersed throughout the book with Anna's. Claire's is told as a flashback using an italic font to make it stand out slightly, and it's quite simply a joy to read. Everything from her moving to France as a naive, sheltered young girl and literally growing up there was wonderful to read, and I just didn't want to put the book down when Claire's story was the focal point. At some points, I actually ploughed through Anna's story just to get to more of Claire's, I was totally lost in her world and I wish in a way Colgan could have written a whole book just about this, it was wonderful!

This book made me laugh, smile and cry along with it - the ending for me was so bittersweet and I actually flicked back several pages to make sure what I'd read was right, simply because I didn't want to believe it was the end, I felt it could have gone on and on and I'd have kept reading! The book was enchanting from start to finish, and Anna's humour peppered throughout kept the tone light and the chocolate made it all the more delicious to read! For me, this is Jenny Colgan's best book to date, and she effortlessly weaves the timeless tales of Claire and Anna throughout the beautiful city of Paris, and by the end, I didn't want to leave either Claire or Anna behind, nor their beautiful chocolate shop in Paris. Simply a must-read. With chocolate. Lots of chocolate.


  1. I loved this book too Chloe! Claire's story was my favourite too. Lovely review :)

  2. Brilliant review, shall look out for this one!