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This is the first `chick-lit' book I've ever read. Perhaps it's not chick-lit at all, but whatever it was I enjoyed it. The narrator is a feature writer on a British newspaper. She is also a chocoholic (although she would deny this). The novel is an exploration of how career women juggle the pressures of work, young kids, and husbands who are at best passive partners in the domestic sphere. It is also a slow-burn `marriage-mystery' which develops in a very satisfying way, with several unexpected twists and turns, and a plot involving journalistic scoops, professional intrigue, and, ehm, chocolate (but in a good way, not just eating it...). The author, Alice Castle, was herself a feature writer on the Daily Express, and her description of the working environment of a national newspaper is fascinating. Castle is also clearly a fine cook, and besides a large helping of chocolate, there are a number of other sumptuously drawn foodie moments to get your teeth into. It felt, above all, as if you were wholly immersed in the life of the main character, and that you desperately wanted her to prevail. Does that make it `chick-lit'? I don't think so, because this is also the kind of book that driven, professional (married) men should read.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It's written really well, with a lot of witty and original expressions that make you smile. I think many women will recognise themselves in the main character: a slightly disorganised chocolate-mad adventurous and entrepreneurial mum of two. If you are looking for a light, funny and make-you-feel-good book, try Hot Chocolate. :-)