Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Book Review: The Chocolatier: A Novel by Jan Moran

After recently finishing two very emotional stories, I figured that I would opt for a lighthearted, fiction novel.  I searched through Audibles for something that peeked my interest.  That's when I stumbled across this book that promised chocolate, the Italian Coast, and a juicy love affair.  Almost immediately, I purchased the book and began on what I thought would be a fun and quick Summerish read.

The novel is titled The Chocolatier: A Novel by Jan Moran.
The book is read by Erin Bennett.
The unabridged version is 12 hours and 3 minutes long.

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Book Review:  The Chocolatier by Jan Moran

The Chocolatier begins in the home of the main character Celina.  She's trying to make a difficult phone call to her husband's parents to pass along a mysterious message.  The entire first chapter is Celina's thoughts about making this phone call.  In other words, the author spends the chapter trying to tell the reader to be mystified and I couldn't stop rolling my eyes.  This theme is present the entire novel.  The author tries to make very obvious things seem like a mystery while having the character think out loud over and over again 'This is a mystery'.  A good novel doesn't need to announce its mysteries and then beat your ear drums with it.  Instead, a good novel naturally intrigues the author and makes them wonder what will happen next.

Celina Savoia, a recent widow and successful chocolatier, visits the Amalfi coast in northern Italy so that her young son can meet his extended family.  Taking place right after World War II, Celina is not used to the natural beauties and luxuries that are offered by her wealthy in laws in this coastal town.  She immediately falls in love with the family and the country.  It's worth noting that Celina has no family, any ties, or deep attractions to the US.  Despite falling in love with her new surroundings, she spends half the book contemplating whether or not to stay in Amalfi or return home.  The decision making process that the author puts the reader through for this very simple and seemingly obvious choice is painful.

The Chocolatier quickly like really quickly shifts from a mystery into a cliche love story and then eventually back to a mystery.  The juicy love story that the reviews promised me ended up being the most predictable affair ever.  To be honest, affair isn't even the right word.  Celina falls in love like she didn't just lose the first love of her life and like she didn't have this crazy mystery to solve.  Despite the love story and mystery being remarkably unbelievable, it is super predictable.

My favorite part of this novel is the setting.  At times, I felt like I was in Amalfi.  The book had me ready to book a one way ticket there.  The author also does a great job of incorporating the artwork of chocolatiers.  This is a skill that I wasn't familiar with at all, yet am now fascinated with.

Sadly, I would not recommend The Chocolatier (link) by Jan Moran.

Were you ever disappointed by a book?


  1. Well, Geez, they could've put some chocolate on the cover!

    1. I agree! It should come with a free box of French chocolates to munch on as your read. Yummm

  2. Sounds like they were trying to rip-off the popular book, Chocolat, by Joanne Harris. Now that’s a GREAT book!
    When a book disappoints me, I quit reading it! I never buy books though. The library is free!

    1. I have this mental problem that I can't stop reading it. That's why I go months sometimes without finishing a book. It's because it's painful to go on but I still feel the need to do it. LOL

  3. Well, Pooh. I have this one in my reading list. Now I’m not looking forward to reading it.

    1. It was so cliche that it was legit painful to read! lol


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