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I have read this recently and absolutely loved it, so much so that I have gone on to read several more JH books.
I think you do have to get into 'the zone' a bit with her and I can see why some may not like the style. Unlike Sastra, I find her characters were interesting and memorable - even more so in the sequel 'The Red Shoes'. There is something about the intangible, mystique in the books which I find appealing, the alchemy of blending and sharing food (not just chocolate) to seduce and draw people together. Its a key part of life and love for lots of us - how many first dates are in restaurants?!
The film is wonderful too. So, a hit with me. Thanks, Pascha.
Similarly to Housewife, I was disappointed to receive the book as like her, I'd read it before. However, unlike her I had hated it the first time round. I thought I'd try it again with an open mind. Unfortunately, my assessment was the same. I found it sentimental and overly romanticised. The premise of the story in itself was fine, but I found the characters weak and one dimensional. I can accept that this type of book would appeal to others, but I do feel that the characterisation was unforgivably poor .
When this arrived i had mixed emotions. Disappointed because I'd read it before, and relief when i remembered i had enjoyed it!
It is a good read and left me feeling more than satisfied. There is enough to get you really engrossed, and some funny characters. I liked the way that the characters were just as strong, if more so, than the plot, which is unusual in this genre.