Photo from authors website

The Chocolate Maker’s Wife

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Australian bestselling novelist Karen Brooks rewrites women back into history with this breathtaking novel set in 17th century London—a lush, fascinating story of the beautiful woman who is drawn into a world of riches, power, intrigue…and chocolate.

    Damnation has never been so sweet…

    Rosamund Tomkins, the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, spends most of her young life in drudgery at a country inn. To her, the Restoration under Charles II, is but a distant threat as she works under the watchful eye of her brutal, abusive stepfather . . . until the day she is nearly run over by the coach of Sir Everard Blithman.

    Sir Everard, a canny merchant, offers Rosamund an “opportunity like no other,” allowing her to escape into a very different life, becoming the linchpin that will drive the success of his fledgling business: a luxurious London chocolate house where wealthy and well-connected men come to see and be seen, to gossip and plot, while indulging in the sweet and heady drink.

    Rosamund adapts and thrives in her new surroundings, quickly becoming the most talked-about woman in society, desired and respected in equal measure.

    But Sir Everard’s plans for Rosamund and the chocolate house involve family secrets that span the Atlantic Ocean, and which have already brought death and dishonor to the Blithman name. Rosamund knows nothing of the mortal peril that comes with her new title, nor of the forces spinning a web of conspiracy buried in the past, until she meets a man whose return tightens their grip upon her, threatening to destroy everything she loves and damn her to a dire fate.

    As she fights for her life and those she loves through the ravages of the Plague and London’s Great Fire, Rosamund’s breathtaking tale is one marked by cruelty and revenge; passion and redemption—and the sinfully sweet temptation of chocolate.

    You can purchase link :

    The Chocolate Maker’s Wife at Harper Collins

    Karen Brooks has encapsulated all of those things in The Chocolate Maker’s Wife. She writes with an intimacy that draws you right into the novel itself, and with such atmosphere! This is a novel firmly anchored by its history, with an eclectic mix of fictional and non-fictional characters. The year 1666 features heavily, and for good reason. It was the year that opened with the Great Plague of London, which was followed closely by the Great Fire of London, all occurring against the backdrop of the second Anglo-Dutch civil war. In the Winter of 1665, Halley’s Comet appeared brightly in the sky, and it was viewed as some as a harbinger of doom, particularly given that the following year contained the foreboding triple six ‘1666′, which seemed to herald the Apocalypse. Given the whole plague, fire and war events that unfolded, you’d probably have been forgiven for jumping on the bandwagon of hysteria that was travelling around back then. It’s really such a remarkable period of history though. The Great Fire was a catastrophe of Biblical proportions that came on the heels of significant loss from plague.

    This novel is nothing short of delicious. It’s infused with chocolate, the descriptions so vivid you can taste them. With all of that history that I mentioned above, the excellent characterisation, the chocolate making, some pertinent social issues under the microscope, as well as a family mystery and some pretty dark skeletons rattling around in the manor closets, I am truly in awe at the scope and cohesion of this novel. It’s remarkable, rather political in a very clever way, a brilliant historical fiction that has jumped right to the top of my favourite books ever list. Needless to say, I recommend it highly!

    Photo by Stephen Brooks

    About Karen Brooks

    Karen Brooks is the author of twelve books, an academic of more than twenty years’ experience, a newspaper columnist and social commentator, and has appeared regularly on national TV and radio. Before turning to academia, she was an army officer for five years, and prior to that dabbled in acting.

    She lives in Hobart, Tasmania, in a beautiful stone house with its own marvellous history. When she’s not writing, she’s helping her husband Stephen in his brewery, Captain Bligh’s Ale and Cider, or cooking for family and friends, travelling, cuddling and walking her dogs, stroking her cats, or curled up with a great book and dreaming of more stories.

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