The Amalfi Coast and chocolate … what a winning combination! I was in the mood for something fun and sweet to read this month leading up to Valentine’s Day, so I pulled The Chocolatier by Jan Moran off my bookshelf and enjoyed a long distance mini book club reading it together with my Mom. Released last year, it’s a story of love, passion, and the search for family – with a big dollop of intrigue along the way. Because the story evolves with the uncovering of many secrets, I will be very careful to not give away any spoilers. It’s more enjoyable letting the story unfold as you read!
What if the person you thought you were married to turned out to have a secret that could change everything? And what if you waited too long to find that out? It’s 1953 and Celina is a chocolatier in San Francisco struggling to balance her work with the grief of unexpectedly losing her husband and helping her 6 year old son navigate the loss of his father. Her passion for the art of chocolate making gets her through most days, but she knows her son deserves so much more. He deserves to know his father’s family – to know family of some kind.
Celina boldly reaches out to the family her husband always forbade her to even speak about and sets off to the Amalfi Coast to create new family ties for her son. As a second generation chocolatier, it doesn’t hurt that her husband’s family, the Savoias, are famous chocolate producers in Italy. Surely that would help build a family connection?
The family and love she finds in Italy is more than she could have imagined – as is the beautiful Amalfi Coast. As the sweetest bonds begin to form, secrets abound in the Savoia family that threaten to tear everything apart. And perhaps Celina is part of the biggest secret of all.
If you love chocolate, Moran does an excellent job bringing many different aspects of the process to life in The Chocolatier. Throughout the story, Celina’s passion for chocolate carries her through the challenges that come from being brave enough to go after what her heart desires. “To share chocolate was to share love” for Celina, whether it was crafting her son’s favorite chocolates to bring a smile to his face, creating a raspberry truffle so divine as to capture the heart of her husband, or inventing new chocolates inspired by the scents and flavors of the Amalfi Coast. Chocolate was a place she always returned to “for love, for joy, for solitude, for healing.” But is chocolate enough to heal a broken family and lies from the past?
I can’t say more without giving away key details, but I think you’ll enjoy The Chocolatier and the intrigue and the unexpected twists and turns of Celina’s relationship with the Savoia family against the backdrop of the beautiful Amalfi Coast. It’s a sweet story!
PS: If you’d like to read The Chocolatier in Italian, you can find Jan Moran’s books translated here.
Note: This post contains Amazon Associates affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking on the links. There’s no additional cost to you, but the commission helps support Ciao Amalfi. Grazie!