Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: The Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeleine

Title: The Confectioner's Tale
Author: Laura Madeleine
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Pages: 336
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.
My Thoughts:
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 :)

Cover: cover fairy touched this one 

3 short days in Paris Nov 2014 ... drool 














Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs.

24 comments:

  1. Oh I can see why you read this ..I can almost see, smell and taste the pastry shop..nom. Adding to my list!

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    1. nom nom alright. I wanted to eat treats all week :)

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  2. Yum, yum, yum! What lovely pastries. Putting the book on my list. LOL

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    1. LOL stock up on pastries and enjoy the read Kay :)

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  3. Mmmmmm all those yummy things!

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  4. Yes cover is very appealing. I often hate being pulled out of a story I'm immersed in and then out to another time. Went on a tangent to see how to pronounce Gui but not much wiser!

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    1. haha made me laugh Kathryn because I had to look it up, I'm weird like that, I wanted to know how to pronounce it to 'connect', from what I can gather Guillaume is pronounced Gee-yome (with the G hard like 'got')

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  5. I don't traditionally read historical fiction but I like the look of this cover as well...

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    1. I'm such a cover whore lol but the story was good too :)

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  6. So you're saying I'll need to clock a lot more steps on the fitbit while reading this one???

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    1. LOL Mary, this is definitely a book for the treadmill and a pastry in one hand ;)

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  7. This sounds good!! And loving your photos from Paris!! I have always wanted to visit there!!!!!

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    1. I want to go back so bad Julie, 3 days was nowhere near long enough!

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  8. The books that flip back and forth between past and present can make it hard to sink into either story, but I usually like the present parts better than the past!

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  9. I'm not a big historical reader, but I love food, Paris and of course love. Those photos are mouth watering!

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  10. This sounds amazing. I think I would just want to eat the whole time I was reading it. Your pictures from your Paris trip are definitely drool-worthy. Those pastries look almost too good to eat!

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  11. Oh I can see how this would have one dreaming of a Paris bakery. Yummmm.

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  12. I agree about the cover! Lovely. Cheers from caroles Chatter

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  13. I was attracted to the book by the cover too!

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  14. I was more interested in the historical narrative than the contemporary btimeline too :)

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  15. Omg macarons!! I love them!

    This book sounds wonderful, I will have to check it out!

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  16. Omg macarons!! I love them!

    This book sounds wonderful, I will have to check it out!

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