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Product Details (as per amazon page)
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.
I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.
I adored this book, foodie romantic fiction is one of my favourite genre’s so when I read the synopsis I was hooked already. The story is set in two time frames; 1909/1910 Paris and 1988 England. We are first transported to 1988 when Petra, the granddaughter of the late historian, author and critic J.G. Stevenson, is angered by the news of her grandfather’s life to be criticised and ripped apart by Simon Hall, biographer. Simon Hall hints of a scandal he has unearthed which deeply unnerves Petra even more. Her grandfather was like a father to Petra and she couldn’t bear to think of any misgivings in his past. Petra discovers an old photograph of her grandfather with two other people. On the back of the photograph are just two words, ‘Forgive me’. Petra is desperate to unravel this mystery before the biographer does.
Back in 1909 we are introduced to Gui and Nicolas, two young men looking for work in the rail yards. A brief encounter with a young woman enchants Gui and he couldn’t get the image of her out of his mind. Gui by chance happens upon this young lady again and finds out she is Jeanne Clermont, the daughter of the owner of Patisserie Clermont. Gui realises that they are both from different worlds, himself from a poor working background, Jeanne from a well to do family with a reputable business. Gui is also captivated by the stunning, exquisite creations from the patisserie and soon falls in love with both the art of the confection and the beautiful Jeanne.
What follows is a wonderful story of forbidden love, betrayal, secrets, discovery of an artform in the wonderful creations of French patisserie. How Laura described the creations made by the chefs sounded exquisite and breathtaking and very delicious. I loved Gui’s character. He was a very strong and determined character but also had a lot of faith and compassion. I enjoyed the throwbacks to the early 1900s Paris, hard times for many struggling to survive. These times sounded very dark and I believe Gui’s discovery of Patisserie Clermont was like finding a ray of sunshine in between all this darkness. I felt for Petra, I’m sure I too would feel so enamoured to find out the truth behind her grandfather’s life.
A wonderful, mysterious love story 5/5* story. I look forward to more from Laura Madeline.
I’d like to share one of my favourite snippets from the book:
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