Sunday, 16 March 2014

Chocolate and Chick-lit

One evening last week, on my way home from work, I popped into one of my favourite Parisian chocolate shops and explained that I was looking for a little selection of classic chocolates as a small present for someone I knew. It was sort of true, but in fact, the recipient of the gift was someone I know better than anybody else: I was buying a box of beautifully presented chocolates for myself.

The cause of this ridiculous indulgence was a book that my mum gave me for Christmas: Jenny Colgan's The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris. With its violet and gold cover, this book is quite clearly marketed as chick-lit, and to be honest, my expectations of the story weren't all that high. I read the first few chapters slowly, a few pages at a time in that brain-dead period between work and sleep.

And then, a few chapters in, I found myself getting hooked. The story, the tale of a provincial English girl who moves to Paris and falls in love with a chocolate maker, could have been saccharine-sweet and stomach-turningly cliched. And indeed, the stereotypes are there. Anna, the main character, lives in an apartment on the Ile-Saint-Louis with a bohemian flatmate and every man she meets behaves like a typical Latin lothario in one way or another. But the cliches are tempered, both by the tragic part of the story, another main character who is dying of cancer, and with touches of irony, my favourite being the character of the chic, haughty Alice, who is rude to everyone ... and also British and not parisienne at all. Reading The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris became my perfect weekday treat and even made me appreciate Paris a bit more as I roared underneath it on the RER, engorssed in the pages of the book.

Highly recommended if you are looking for a little treat, for yourself or somebody else. Just don't forget to buy some chocolates too!


  1. What a great idea (and great pairing!) These chocolates look good to. I'd rather splurge on good chocolate than have the entire bar of (insert whatever cheap candy bar here).

  2. that you did this! How blissful! I will look out for this. Chick lits and fiction do go hand in hand I find!