Guest Editor, Kellie Leonard from Never Shopped Out
Bitter Chocolate follows the lives of three girls, Ameline, Laure and Melanie. Laure and Ameline grow up in Haiti, Laure living in the shadow of her mysterious mother who lives in America, Ameline as the childhood companion to Laure, who doesn’t even know her name, let alone anything about her family or past. Melanie is the privileged daughter of an aging rock star, constantly seeking his attention at any cost. When Laure falls pregnant to a solider, she’s sent to live with her mother in America, who she’s never met, which sets her on a new path than what she expected her life to be. Ameline leaves the family home to make her own way in the world, never knowing how she came to be in the St Lazare home in the first place, and Melanie…poor Melanie continues to fight for her father’s attention, never realising the impact her emotionally lacking upbringing has caused her. Each battles the secrets of their past as they grow older and try to find out why they are and where they belong in the world.
It’s not long before you start caring about the characters – Laure and Melanie especially, your heart quickly goes out to them as they struggle to find themselves. The story ends up spanning four countries which means you’re never bored with the setting, even if the happenings to each of the girls wasn’t enough to keep you interested. This is classic chick lit, with glamorous settings, crazy lows and more romance that you can poke a stick at. Interestingly I also found that for once, I couldn’t always pick when each character found the man they were ‘meant’ to be with, which over time, I’ve managed to perfect.
The average &
Ultimately, it’s hard to like some of the actions of certain characters as the story progresses – perhaps because two of them do something I consider to be immoral and its hard to like a character when you loathe their actions. And the character I cared about most, Melanie, was the only one whose story never reached a resolution (or perhaps not the resolution I was seeking?). I also would have like to have heard more about Haiti – knowing pretty much nothing about the country, a lot of the references to the wider political and social happenings went totally over my head.
Read if you loved& any of Cathy Kelly or Tasmina Perry’s books
It\’s not for you if& you’re not a fan of the classic chick-lit genre
Available now:Â Orion Fiction Paperback, $22.99