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