Wednesday 22 April 2015

The Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeleine

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.

Welcome to the BLOG TOUR for The Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeleine which is published by Black Swan (an imprint of Transworld) in paperback on 23 April 2015.

The Confectioner's Tale is a story told in dual narrative, this does seem to be a very popular way of writing novels lately, and I do especially like the style. The combination of era and place is appealing and keeps the reader's interest.

The year is 1909, the location is France, and Guillerme du Frere is embarking on something of an adventure.
He is leaving Bordeaux to find work on the railways in Paris.

In 1988 in Cambridge, Petra Stevenson is working on her PhD and struggling. She is mourning her much loved grandfather, she is appalled that a well-known biographer is intending to expose secrets from her grandfather's past. Petra doesn't want to believe that he kept anything from her, but doubts are eating away at her. After all, she recently discovered an old photograph and on the back, in her grandfather's handwriting are the words 'Forgive Me'. Maybe there are skeletons in the Stevenson cupboard after all?  Petra is determined to investigate.

The story travels back and forth. From Guillerme, and his adventures in Paris, to Petra and her on-going quest to find out the truth, and gradually the two stories become one.

I have to admit that I did enjoy the Parisian story much more than the modern day one. Laura Madeleine has created a picture of early twentieth century Paris that is incredibly realistic, and the added bonus of the workings of a Paris patisserie is most alluring. The atmosphere that has been created with words is wonderful and I would almost swear that this book is calorific in itself!

Dual-time, romantic and mysterious. The Confectioner's Tale is beautifully written and so very descriptive. I enjoyed this novel very much and will certainly be on the look out for the next book from Laura Madeleine.

After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind, and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge.
She now writes fiction, as well as recipes, and was formally the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery.

She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom.

You can find her on Twitter @esthercrumpet    
Visit her website

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  1. This sounds a great read. I like the dual narratives set in different time periods too.

  2. What a lovely cover this book has and I do so like dual time stories.