Author: Laura Madeleine
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Book Source: Random House & NetGalley
Synopsis: At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air.
But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.
Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.
Food, Love and Paris ... sold! Ok I confess, I wanted this one for the cover.
In 1909 Guillaume (Gui) Du Frere, leaves Bordeaux for Paris and a job as a railway labourer. He finds so much more than he ever imagined when a chance encounter with Jeanne Clermont, daughter of a famous Parisian confectioner opens the door on the Patisserie Clermont and forbidden love. In 1988 Petra Stevenson is determined to uncover a family secret involving her late grandfather.
I loved the historical narrative and Gui and Jeanne and I begrudged leaving 1909. Actually the swings from present day to the historical timeline were so fast I found it quite unsettling, just as I was immersed, I was yanked out ... torture, I kid you not. That's my only reason for not rating this higher as Madeleine's writing is beautiful and her descriptions of Paris and the Clermont Patisserie, rich and evocative.
The workings of the patisserie kitchen, the sweet smell of sugar and chocolate, cream and warm caramel, the delicate pastries ... my mouth was watering.
There were whole, plump roses steeping in honey; purple-stained sugar, thick with lavender, tiny jars of crimson threads, cherries and peaches suspended in syrup as if they had fallen there from the trees.
The luxurious scents wrapped around him. Butter, his nose relayed, cream, nuts, brandy, chocolate ...
The Confectioner's Tale had me pining for Paris. Macarons or chocolate éclairs are mandatory with this read :)