19 Apr 2012

BITTER CHOCOLATE

BITTER CHOCOLATE by LESLEY LOKKO.

Laure: seventeen, beautiful and already twice-abandoned, once by her glamorous mother, and once by a young soldier who left her pregnant and alone.


Ameline: works for Laure's privileged family. She has no relatives of her own, and a past she knows nothing about.


Melanie: the rock star's daughter who has everything money can, but not the one thing she craves: love.


From the relentless heat of a Haitian summer to the luxurious homes of America's elite, from elegant London dinner parties to the colourful chaos of the East End, three girls are in search of a missing piece of their lives 
-  and will change their worlds to find it.
......... Outer back cover.


FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): Chicago, USA, 1999.
"You're sure you don't want me to come with you?" he asked, his eyes searching her face.


MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 296): They turned their blue eyes towards one another, "imagine!" or "really?" in that perfectly polite, perfectly English way she'd forgotten that signalled utter disbelief ......


MY THOUGHTS: Incorporating what is essentially three stories into the one book, Bitter Chocolate just did not work for me. The tale of three young women, Laure, Ameline and, Melanie, in my personal opinion that the author would have been better sticking to the story of one, at a push, two of the characters rather than this somewhat epic tale that just did not flow.


A considerable read of 577 pages, because of the way in which it was written I'd find myself forgetting what had happened to say Ameline by the time the author had devoted several chapters to the other two women before returning to her story. Not that I was particularly interested in the adventures of any of the three women who I didn't think were well developed by the author.


The other characters faring little better, on the whole I found them stereotypical and largely forgettable.


As for the plot ........ Largely contrived. For such a lengthy book there seemed to many things left unsaid, too many loose ends left untied, and an ending that I quite frankly found abrupt.


KEEP IT OR NOT?: Not


11 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I give you credit for hanging in there til the end. Did it seem more a YA novel?

GMR said...

Aww, too bad. I had high hopes for this one. Sometimes alternating characters when they have THAT much of a story in themselves can be a different pill to swallow. Great job on the review though....

....Petty Witter said...

No Mary I wouldn't describe it as YA fiction. Mind you Amazon has it classified under Romance and Chicklit amongst other things and I wouldn't class it as these either. Modern Fiction is the genre I've rightfully or wrongfully labelled it as.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Petty,

Greetings and good wishes.

It is interesting to read the review of the book and your endurance to read the book in its entirety.

Recently I read a book titled FAR FROM MY FATHER'S HOUSE BY JILL McGIVERING, a senior correspondent of t he BBC.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Suko said...

I wasn't surprised when I read "Not" at the end!

naida said...

That's too bad. The cover and title are fun, what a shame.

Kelly said...

So did the three girls' stories ever intertwine at any point? If not, I don't really understand the point in telling several different stories.

Sorry this one didn't work for you.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... too bad this one didn't work. Sometimes it is hard to weave in 3 different stories. Hopefully the next will be better.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Sorry it didn't work for you. Bummer. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

....Petty Witter said...

They did indeed intertwine Kelly. Too big a coincidence, it was one of many things that I didn't like about the book.

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