Wednesday, August 04, 2010

At last! Chocolate Roses Review

Back on July 23rd, I mentioned that I would be part of Joan Sowards' blog tour for her latest novel, Chocolate Roses, on August 2nd. I also gave the list of bloggers, and the prizes and rules linked to the blog tour contest.

Since then, I left home for a writers retreat, during which my brother-in-law died. Due to those unfortunate circumstances, needing to leave home to attend the funeral, and a misreading of the calendar, I missed my blogging date. Be that what it may, I'm here, and so is my review.

I'm sure you've all read the back cover blurb of Chocolate Roses, are familiar with the story of Jane Eyre, have been following the other bloggers' revews, and making comments to enter the contest for the two copies of the novel and the apron the author made. If not, when I'm through, you may go do those things. Be sure to leave your comments on this blog post.

Although the subtitle of Chocolate Roses is A Jane Eyre Parody, I didn't find the satiric aspects in the work that the word parody brings to my mind. I found Joan's novel to be much lighter than the original, but I would have called it a contemporary re-setting, or, given Joan's credentials as a consummate musician, an arrangement of Jane Eyre.

Extracting a simpler plot from Jane Eyre for her novel was a good trick, and Joan pulled it off. She peopled the work with interesting minor characters and sub-plots that made the whole an enjoyable read.

I liked Janie Whitaker; she was spunkier than Jane Eyre, and I found her to be in much the same circumstances as me long years ago: single and older than I thought I'd be before I found love and marriage. I'd macheted my way through many of the same emotions, and made similar bargains with God as Janie did. I'm glad she held onto her values despite the internal pressures, the gossips, and the jealousy swirling around her.

Mr. Roger Wentworth (a tip of the hat to Jane Austen?) was a genuinely good man in a tragic situation, not the brooding, older man who tried to pull the wool over the eyes of a naive young woman and the community like Mr. Rochester did. I write conflicted characters who try to do the right thing, so I liked him, too.

I like satisfying endings.

I like chocolate.

What's not to like in this novel? Go buy it.

Walnut Springs, the publisher of this novel, provided a copy to me. It in no way influenced my review, because I had already bought the novel for myself, with all intentions to read it anyway.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. I do love Dark Chocolate and I really want to read this book now.

  2. Sorry about your brother-in-law. I like milk chocolate. The book does sound fun and I like that you compared it to music. rashelleworkmanatgmailatcome

  3. I'm sorry about your loss, Marsha. Thanks for the review. I have been wanting to read Chocolate Roses, and now I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! I love dark chocolate.

  4. I am sorry for your loss and hope for comfort for your family.
    I have been wanting to read this book. Your comments make me even more interested as you make me think I would find these characters more appealing than the original ones. I read Jane Eyre when I was Junior High age and far less judgemental. I enjoyed it but was not satisfied. So I think that I would find this version more to my liking.

  5. I forgot. I like all chocolate but am in a milk chocolate mood or dark chocolate mood tonight.

  6. Thank you for your great review on Chocolate Roses!

  7. Marsha sorry to hear about your bother in law. Prayers go out to you and your family. I also love dark chocolate and this book sounds great and a must to go into my book shelf. Debra


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