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I am a self confessed chocoholic and when looking for a new book in the library in the week how could I walk over Carole Mathews The Chocolate Lovers Club. I also saw whilst I was there The chocolate lovers diet by the same author and I wasn't sure which one to pick up. I am lucky I picked this one up as the Chocolate lovers diet I have now found out is a carry on from this book.
I have previously read a book by Carole Mathews and I have to admit I was really not a fan, but with a title like this how could I walk past it!.
The Chocolate lovers club consist of four women, Lucy, Autumn, Nadia and Chantal. Lucy is the main character of the book, which is written from her point of view. She has been in a relationship with the cheating Marcus for a long time and at the beginning of the book she finds him cheating again and calls an emergency gathering with the girls at chocolate heaven.
This is where we are introduced to the girls for the first time. Autumn is a hippy kind of girl who works with drug addicts and is single and loves dark chocolate. Nadia is the only member of the club with a young son, she finds the chocolate club like a refuge for her. Lastly we have Chantal who is a confident American woman who is having problems with her husband who no longer wants to sleep with her.
The ladies all share the same love of chocolate and regularly meet up and Chocolate Heaven to eat and drink handmade chocolate and to socialise and help each other out in their times of crisis. All four of the girls are lovable characters and are described adequately enough for you to relate with them.
The girls come head to head with many problems between the through the book including cheating boyfriends, crushes on bosses, drug problems, a robbery, gambling, to name a few, but the girls stick together and firmly believe they can get through anything with the help of chocolate, as chocolate can cure anything.
I found the style of writing in this book completely different to the previous book I read by Carole Mathews. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. She uses enough details about chocolate without over doing it. There is a strong story line with chocolate weaved in-between.
The only problem I found with this book was each time a known brand of chocolate was mentioned I craved it so personally I feel the book should come with some kind of warning or at least a free chocolate supply with it!!.
I am looking forward to reading the follow up book as this book was left on a Cliff hanger you become addicted and need to find out what happens next with the girls.
This book was 432 pages long in paperback and also has a snippet of the next book which I always find helpful.
ANY CHOCOHOLICS READ THIS WITH WARNING!!!
The Chocolate Lovers' Club, with a title like that I just had to pick up and read this book. The cover, the title and the strapline - 'Forget diamonds - chocolate is a girl's best friend' all give a very clear indication of the kind of book this is. That's right, this is chick lit - a genre that although often predictable, if you're a fan like me, you can also find a comforting read.
Carole Matthews has produced the ingredient that I think is vital for a good chick lit novel and that's a likeable main character who you actually care about. In this book it's Lucy Lombard.
The story is based around Lucy and three friends, all of whom she met in her sanctuary - Chocolate Heaven. They form the Chocolate Lovers' Club and support each other through various problems through the book. Lucy is the one who's brought them all together - she's adorable, trouble follows her around and you'd like to have a mate like her (and possible do!)
As well as Lucy there's Autumn, a hippyish, caring, dark chocolate lover. Nadia, a mother of one with a less than perfect home life and a love of all chocolate. Chantal is the last to make up the group, she's American and wealthy but proof that money doesn't always bring happiness.
What I like most about this book is it's depiction of women's friendships. It shows how the women support each other through everything life throws at them. Even when something comes along to drive a small wedge between two of the friends it doesn't last long and you see the strength of their relationship. I particularly like this as all too often you see women stab each other in the back in films or books.
Being a chick lit book there's plenty of men. There's Lucy's boyfriend, Marcus, you won't like him but then you're not supposed to. He is a good comedy character but pretty one-dimensional.
There's also Crush, Lucy's boss, who always calls her gorgeous (not very politically correct in the workplace) and steals her chocolate. Later, in the book we meet Jacob, a new love interest who is suave and sophisticated - will he steal Lucy's heart.
There's also Tristan and Clive, the gay owners of Chocolate Heaven. Again these characters don't really develop and kind of hover about the side of the book, being a bit stereotypical. They're also some of the only men to come out of the book well!
The book is 432 pages long and there is enough action to fill every one of the pages. Each of the ladies' lives has enough action to make you glad you're just reading it. The final outcome of most of the situations is quite predictable but as I said before I read this kind of book because I find it comforting in it's predictability and not because I want to be challenged.
I would say curl up with a nice mug of hot chocolate and your favourite bar of chocolate and join the girls in their club for a few hours.
The Chocolate Lovers' Club is written by Carole Matthews and has the fantastic sentence on the cover: Forget Diamonds - chocolate is a girls' best friend.
Written in 2007 this is a very modern fictional chic lit and was easy and enjoyable to read.
The book follows the lives of 4 friends, who all met through their love of chocolate. Lucy is the main character of the book, and all chapters written about Lucy are told from her own perspective. We also have Chantal, Nadia and Autumn who are the other 3 friends.
They believe there is nothing chocolate can't cure, from heartache to a headache. Whenever there is a crisis in any of their lives, they meet in their sanctuary, a cafe called chocolate heaven.
They have plenty of crisis in this book, from a cheating boyfriend who keeps promising he will change, a husband but a loveless marriage (which also leads to a string of infidelities), a marriage that harbours a gambling secret and many more, the girls always have plenty of excuses for more chocolate.
I really enjoyed this book, to the point where i loathed to have to put it down to go to sleep. It is written really well, and just brings the lives of these 4 women to you, you can laugh with them, cry with them, empathise with them, sympathise with them, feel like shouting at them sometimes as well, but it does give everyone some hope at the end as well.
I did think after reading it that it may make a good movie as well, but then realised that had already been done, basically, it is a british version of sex and the city, main character Lucy being the british verison of Carrie Bradshaw, Chantal being the Samantha character, the other 2 characters do differ from the american counterparts but you get the picture, so a movie may not be the best move, but reading the book certainly is.
There is a sequel to this called the Chocloate Lovers' Diet, it did include a snippet at the end of the book so you now a little of what to expect, so needless to say i now need to go and purchase the next book to find out what happens to our 4 friends next.
The paper back of The Chocolate Lovers' Club retails at £6.99 and is published by Headline Review.
I got this book from my local library and finished reading it last night. I have never previously read any books from the author, but she has written several, including The Difference A Day Makes and All You Need Is Love.
The book follows Lucy, Autumn, Nadia and Chantal. Together, the four women are the members of The Chocolate Lovers' Club and firmly believe that no crisis cannot be solved by chocolate. Lucy is in a relationship with her boss "Crush" (Aiden) who she strongly suspects is cheating on her while he is working in Australia and has a persistant ex-boyfriend in the form of womaniser Marcus. Autumn is a social care worker whose brother Richard is a drug addict in a lot of trouble. Nadia's husband Toby is addicted to gambling and has racked up huge debts. Chantal is trying to get her marriage back on track after her husband Ted found out about her affair. These crises call for a lot of chocolate!
I liked each of the woman, although I was less keen on the peripheral characters. I found Marcus and Richard particularly irritating and self-centred as the plot progressed and this was probably because I had quite an affinity with the female characters. Some of the peripheral characters have redeeming qualities though, for example Autumn's boyfriend Addison, and even Jacob, who Chantal has had the affair with as the book starts. It is heart-warming to see the strong friendship bonds between the four women as they deal with their respective lives.
My Overall Verdict
I really enjoyed reading this book and finished it within two days of first opening it. If you like chick lit books, this is a rather heart-warming one by the end although there are some sad moments too. I found it quite amusing that the chocolate is cracked open at the first sign of a problem but I'm sure that many women do this or have done this in the past and can relate to it! It can be a bit confusing at times as Lucy's chapters are from her viewpoint, but the chapters concerning the other three women are not from their viewpoint so this is a change in narrative between some chapters. This is because Lucy is really the central character of the book.
The Chocolate Lovers' Club brings together four very different women with one thing in common: they can't resist chocolate. This is an irresistible novel for anyone who wishes they were a member! Lucy Lombard can't resist it - rich, creamy, sweet, delicious chocolate. For her there's nothing it won't cure and she's not alone. Sharing her passion are three other addicts: Autumn, Nadia and Chantal. Together they form The Chocolate Lovers' Club. They meet in their sanctuary, Chocolate Heaven, as often as they can, and with a cheating boyfriend who promises he'll change, a flirtatious boss, a gambling husband and a loveless marriage, there's always plenty to discuss!