Saturday, October 24, 2015
Book Review: Christmas Chocolat
In this warm, engaging debut novel, four siblings make their way home, where their father, the memory of their mother, and long-held family secrets all collide just in time for Christmas For Maggie Arnaud and her siblings, childhood Christmases meant lavish feasts and beloved rituals. The day began with hot chocolate and cougnole de Noel —the sweet, rich bread traditional in their parents’ native Belgium. Those special holidays ended with their mother’s death, and their father has grown more distant each year. But now, he has summoned his grown children once again. And none of them is eager to expose their imperfect lives to his scrutiny…
Jacqueline is an opera singer living in Brussels—outwardly successful but yearning for a deeper fulfillment. Near Philadelphia, cookbook writer Maggie’s career and marriage are in turmoil. Colette, an aspiring clothing designer in California, lost her boyfriend and her savings in one blow. And roving younger brother Art is still searching for something—or someone. Armed with their insecurities, rivalries—and their mother’s most delicious recipes—the Arnauds gather in Pennsylvania. But a good meal does more than feed the body—it awakens memories, nurtures bonds, and might even bring a family back together.
Includes classic Belgian recipes
I actually got both a hardcopy and an e-arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is on the hard copy when regarding format.
I really liked this book. It was a really cozy, comfortable book that you would want to read when coming down from thriller or action books. Great for reading during Winter Break, this is the type of book you'll want to read while curled up in front of the fire next to a cat or significant other.
Characters: So, Magali was interesting enough. I enjoyed reading from her point of view but not nearly as much as I enjoyed Colette's chapters. I wanted to read so much more from Colette. I loved that you could tell which sister was older or younger than the other from their distinct voices. The only one that rubbed me the wrong way was Jacqueline because I felt there was waaaayy too much italicizing in her first chapter. She came around, though.
Recipes: Honestly they sound really good but maybe not that great for a family on a budget.
Plot: Easy to follow, fun to read, not terribly static or cliche.
AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT DANTE FOR A SECOND OH MY LORD WHAT A SWEETIE PIE. Dante and Colette forever. I will ship it to the end.
Format: The cover is so silky and it fits perfectly in my purse for taking to work. The actual paper looked and smelled a bit on the cheap side, but A) I got an arc so the finished product is bound to be different and B) if not, the story takes your attention right away from that you don't notice the pages at all once you start reading.