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Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
In this seriously terrific debut novel, Lamb creates characters that are undeniably unique yet totally relatable. In a less talented author's hands women such as Lydia, Julia, Caroline and Lara might be little more than caricatures or victims of their individual circumstances, but in Lamb's they become living, breathing, flawed individuals that the reader cannot help but grow attached to and invested in. This novel has all of the elements that lovers of great fiction will enjoy: tragedy, comedy, hope, romance and a few surprises. Like a fine box of chocolates, this book will have readers rushing to finish each morsel, and at the end wishing there were more to savor.
Julia Bennett is on the run. After a narrow escape from her abusive fiance, she's headed to the safety of her aunt Lydia's farmhouse in Oregon. As Lydia and her circle of friends welcome Julia into their lives, she begins to regain some of the hope that she lost as a young girl and help her new friends as well. Soon, the chocolate making that has always been her refuge might just become the key to a new life. (KENSINGTON, May, 383 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed By: Stephanie Schneider
Published: May 2007