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. 'Mouth-watering and mysterious...a compelling read' Leah Fleming, bestselling author of The Girl under the Olive Tree Take a moment to savour a bittersweet love story that echoes through the decades - perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Santa Montefiore and Victoria Hislop.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 23/04/2015
- Category: Historical romance
- ISBN: 9781784160722
- EPUB from £3.99
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by shelleyraec
Unfolding through dual timelines, The Confectioners Tale by Laura Madeleine is a pleasant blend of history, romance and light mystery.In the present (well, 1988), Cambridge PhD candidate Petra Stevenson is desperate to protect her adored late grandfather's reputation from being sullied by a biographer promising to reveal his role in an old scandal. Anxious to deflect any dishonour, and hoping to discover a more benign truth, Petra doggedly works to piece together events that took place in Paris nearly 70 years ago.The alternating narrative is set during 1909 in Paris and slowly reveals the story of Guillaume (Gui) Du Frere, a railway labourer from Bordeaux, his forbidden romance with Mademoiselle Jeanne Clermont, the daughter of a famous Parisienne confectioner, and ultimately the scandal involving Petra's grandfather.For me the strength of the novel lay in the historical timeline, I liked the characters of Gui and Jeanne, delighted in their meeting, their secret romance, and despaired when scandal threatened to destroy them. I also thought the author's depiction of early twentieth century Paris was evocative, and I enjoyed being behind the scenes of the Clermont Patisserie.An easy, simply plotted story with a satisfyingly sweet conclusion, The Confectioner's Tale is a novel with general appeal.
Review by SusieH5
Petra Stevenson is still mourning the loss of her beloved grandfather when she discovers that he kept secrets from her. An old photograph of her grandfather as a young man has the word ‘Clermont’ written on the back. To add to the mystery this photograph had clearly been hidden, in an envelope marked ‘Forgive me’. Petra sets out to discover what this means.Her efforts are thwarted at every turn by her grandfather’s official biographer – who is determined to unearth any scandal.Interspersed with her efforts are flashbacks to the era of the photograph, and the interesting characters and how their lives intertwine.An interesting read.