The Chocolate Tin by Fiona McIntosh, book review









Title: The Chocolate Tin
by: Fiona McIntosh
Publisher: Penguin


Alexandra Frobisher is a modern-thinking woman with hopes of a career in England’s famous chocolate-making town of York. She has received several proposals of marriage, although none of them promises that elusive extra – love.
Matthew Britten-Jones is a man of charm and strong social standing. He impresses Alex and her parents with his wit and intelligence, but would an amicable union be enough for a fulfilling life together?
At the end of the war, Captain Harry Blakeney discovers a dead soldier in a trench in France. In the man’s possession is a secret love note, tucked inside a tin of chocolate that had been sent to the soldiers as a gift from the people back home.
In pursuit of the author of this mysterious message, Harry travels to Rowntree’s chocolate factory in England’s north, where his life becomes inextricably bound with Alexandra and Matthew’s. Only together will they be able to unlock secrets of the past and offer each other the greatest gift for the future.
From the battlefields of northern France to the medieval city of York, this is a heartbreaking tale about a triangle of love in all its forms and a story about the bittersweet taste of life . . . and of chocolate.

“What about love, Mother?’ was Alexandra Frobisher’s question. She wanted to do  more than have the sum of her life being organised into a sound marriage. According to her mother, every daughter was a wife in training. But Alexandra Frobisher was ambitious, and wanted to pursue a career. In chocolate.

Author, Fiona McIntosh, has penned a compelling romance set in 1915 in the famous chocolate making town of York, in England’s north. Alexandra Frobisher has dreams of owning her own chocolate business, but is trapped by society’s expectations and by the necessity of an arranged marriage to approved suitable men, without any spark of love, least of all attraction. But then she meets Matthew Britten-Jones. He is the answer to her means to an end, and to escape a life of compliance; a mundane existence. They get along exceptionally well and their arrangement gives them both the freedom they desire. So they enter a marriage of convenience under the guise of love, where both of their families are well pleased.

Matthew supports Alexandra’s plan to learn about the making of chocolate and becomes the connection for her to enter the Rowntree chocolate factory where she volunteers to work during the war, donating her wage to charity. It is there that she learns the intricacies and refinement of making chocolate. It is there that she slips a love note into a Chocolate Tin destined for a soldier, and signs it as ‘Kitty’. It is also there that she has an unexpected encounter with a dashing figure of a man, Captain Harry Blakeney, their mutual attraction undeniable.

As Alexandra and Harry spend precious time together, Alex discovers what it feels like to be in love, and becomes painfully aware that in her amicable marriage to Matthew, there seems to be something  amiss that is more than just love and affection. Purely by accident, Harry stumbles upon a secret: Matthew’s. One that will turn Alexandra’s world up-side-down…

I must admit, I proudly chose Fiona McIntosh’s novel, The Chocolate Tin, from the bookshelf at a quirky and wonderfully magical bookstore called The Mad Hatters Bookshop, simply because I absolutely adore chocolate, particularly Cadbury. But as I read the pages, Fiona McIntosh’s words weaved the magic of love through the characters, leaving me turning the pages and hungry for the story to unfold. There are plenty of twists and turns in this beautiful historical love story that will have you wanting to read the tale of forbidden love once again.

Title: The Chocolate Tin
ISBN: 9780143797067
Category: Contemporary fiction
Format: Paperback / softback
Publication Date: 31-10-2016
Publisher: Penguin Australia Pty Ltd
Country of origin: Australia
Edition: 1st Edition
Pages: 432

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, tea drinker, chocolate annihilator)

Member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
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