Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley
|Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Fairhead|
|Summary: A light-hearted novel which mixes guardian angels, DNA testing, healing from past hurts, Pagan/Christian connections, and coats them all in chocolate...|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: March 2010|
I know one should never judge a book by its cover, but somehow I always do. So I was expecting some light-hearted chick-lit when I began this book. I was a little startled to find several mentions of tarot cards, Mayan charms, and guardian angels - a somewhat bizarre spiritual mixture - within the first pages. What, I wondered, had I got myself into?
The narrator is Chloë, who's in her mid-thirties. She lives with her much younger half-brother Jake, and her grandfather Grumps, who is a novelist and also a warlock. They are well looked after by Zillah, who works as their housekeeper, and are on the throes of moving into a village. Here Grumps is planning to start a museum of Pagan history, and Chloë will have more space for her thriving business supplying 'chocolate wishes': her own invention, a bit like fortune cookies, consisting of chocolate shells with little printed 'wishes' inside.
Chloë has two close friends, who are on the Parish Council in the village. Everyone is bubbling with anticipation about their new Vicar who is reputed to be an ex rock star. Nobody seems to know who he is, but - as the blurb on the back of the book told me - his name is Raffy Sinclair, and he just happens to be the man who broke Chloë's heart about eighteen years previously.
It took me a few chapters to get used to the somewhat informal style of writing, which is light and breezy. I found it a bit odd at first, but soon got used to it, and by the end found it most enjoyable. I couldn't quite keep track of all the different people at first, either, but that's probably because I was reading a couple of chapters each night when I was tired. However, the author succeeded in giving them distinctive names and sufficient personality that I soon knew who was who, and found myself warming to most of them; even including the appropriately named Grumps.
Chloe has a lot of hurts in her past, including a mother who has abandoned her, uncertainty about her biological father, and some other secrets which are gradually revealed through the book. She thinks she had come to terms with most of them, and is happy in her lifestyle, supplying chocolate and looking after Jake. But bumping into Raffy again gives her a jolt; she has some serious heart-searching to do before she can settle down again.
Different from usual light novels, there are some interesting forays into the connections between Christianity and Paganism in the past, as well as insights into the methods and care needed when making chocolates. As for whether guardian angels exist, or whether Mayan charms help in the production of chocolate, that's left open to the reader to decide. There are, unsurprisingly, a couple of romance plot-lines, with plenty of misunderstandings and difficulties along the path; but I was glad that when the inevitable happened, the author closed the bedroom door firmly and left everything to the imagination. If there must be an exact genre, it's more a 'village novel' than chick-lit.
By the time I was about half-way through I was thoroughly enjoying this book. Something similar happened with the two others I have read by Tricia Ashley - Sowing Secrets and Sweet Nothings - so I shouldn't have been surprised. I look forward to reading more by this author in future.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending this book.
You can read more book reviews or buy Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley at Amazon.com.
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