Julia's Chocolates Author:Cathy Lamb "I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota. I don't know why that particular tree appealed to me. Perhaps it was because it looked as if it had given up and died years ago and was still standing because it didn't know what else to do." In her deliciously funny, heartfelt, and moving debut, Cathy Lamb introduces some of ... more »the most wonderfully eccentric women since The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and The Secret Life of Bees, as she explores the many ways we find the road home. From the moment Julia Bennett leaves her abusive Boston fiance? at the altar and her ugly wedding dress hanging from a tree in South Dakota, she knows she's driving away from the old Julia, but what she's driving toward is as messy and undefined as her own wounded soul. The old Julia dug her way out of a tortured, trailer park childhood with a monster of a mother. The new Julia will be found at her Aunt Lydia's rambling, hundred-year-old farmhouse outside Golden, Oregon. There, among uppity chickens and toilet bowl planters, Julia is welcomed by an eccentric, warm, and often wise clan of women, including a psychic, a minister's unhappy wife, an abused mother of four, and Aunt Lydia herself-a woman who is as fierce and independent as they come. Meeting once a week for drinks and the baring of souls, it becomes clear that every woman holds secrets that keep her from happiness. But what will it take for them to brave becoming their true selves? For Julia, it's chocolate. All her life, baking has been her therapy and her refuge, a way to heal wounds and make friends. Nobody anywhere makes chocolates as good as Julia's, and now, chocolate just might change her life-and bring her love when she least expects it. But it can't keep her safe. As Julia gradually opens her heart to new life, new friendships, and a new man, the past is catching up to her. And this time, she will not be able to run but will have to face it head on. Filled with warmth, love, and truth, Julia's Chocolates is an unforgettable novel of hope and healing that explores the hurts we keep deep in our hearts, the love that liberates us, the courage that defines us, and the chocolate that just might take us there.« less
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wow, I loved this book! Best thing I've read in ages.
The characters are well developed - highly quirky, funny and will without a doubt work their way into your heart. Although this is a story about friendship and courageous women, it is also a tale about facing your fears, having the courage to take risks and finding yourself. What a journey - I simply howled about the Psychic Nights, cheered at the victories and felt the fear they faced. I can not wait for Ms. Lamb's next book and have to admit that it was hard to see this book end.
There were many moments where I laughed and cried during this treasure.
I could not put this book down! I immmediately fell in love with Julia and Aunt Lydia and all the other characters except for the fiance. This book had flashbacks mixed in with the current which usually creates a disjointed flow, but the author made it work and I simply could not make myself move away from the story and how it would end. I loved the details of the the chocolate treats and I wish that I could get some myself. Wonderful read, I would recommend it to anyone regardless of their favorite genre, this was just such a good story.
It was a really good book, in my humble opinion. I laughed out loud several times, wanted to scream in frustration a couple of times, and had to wipe tears from my eyes and blow my nose once or twice, too...a totally absorbing and lively read! I wish I had had an aunt like Julia's in my life!
This was a heart-warming read! The well-developed characters kept me fascinated and not wanting to put the book down. The underdogs come out on top and it was a book that stayed in your mind for quite some time after you closed the last page. I enjoyed the Pacific Northwest setting and, being from North Dakota, I could just picture that wedding dress hanging from that tree. There was suspense along with romance in a nice combination. I will read this author's other books and recommend this one highly!
One of the best books I've read in ages! About half way through, I started reading really slowly just to try to make it last longer. Like Cathy Lamb's other book, it deals with a tough emotional topic with care, yet you ended up laughing at the same time. Lamb is a wonderful author and I'm only sad that she doesn't have any more books out yet! I give this book two thumbs up!
Like every Cathy Lamb book I have picked up I have loved the characters, become obsessed with the story and finished reading in just a few days. Yes, at times things can be a little predictable but always a great read. It's nice to have intelligent "chic lit" out there as a buffer between the heavier reads. Sometimes you just need a nice light read.