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Bitter Chocolate Paperback – 11 Dec 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (11 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752879286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752879284
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After various careers from cocktail waitress to kibbutz worker, Lesley Lokko trained as an architect. Several novels later, Lesley now splits her time between Johannesburg and London and occassionally, Edinburgh. Find out more at www.lesleylokko.com.

Author photo (c) Max Milligan

Product Description

Review

sumptuous (HOT STARS)

A glorious search for love, marriage and a sense of belonging (EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS)

Book Description

Three girls in search of a missing piece of their lives; three girls who will change their worlds to find it . . .

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S Iqbal on 20 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
A very entrancing tale of 3 different women, told to the backdrop of some very intriguing places. The story develops at a good pace, involving you from the very first page of part 1. The choices they make and the mistakes that sometimes breed flaws make them more human. Some of the side characters were well developed, and sometimes given a voice. Lokko intertwines the characters and plot together with an impressive writing style. It doesn't feel contrived and the sum is a refreshing must read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Liselore on 16 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
First, let me make this clear: I have loved all Lesley Lokko's books and I love this one. For novels that are often referred to as "glamour novels" or "bonkbusters", they have a surprising amount of character building and can be quite gritty. The author is not afraid to put the characters through pain and difficult situations, but she doesn't do so in a contrived manner; for instance, the relationships that don't work out are not treated as the standard "hurdle to overcome" before finding true love, they are just a part of life.
Having said that, I have a few minor difficulties with this book: the ending was very abrupt, I especially would have liked to find out more about Melanie and if she would break or change as her worst fears became reality; this way we are left wondering how she ends up. As others have already pointed out, Laures and Amelines family past is never really explained, there are a lot of questions left to be answered. And, finally, I felt that the character of Marc was missing a lot of pieces. There were a lot of hints as to his past, but they were never explained, and this way I never really understood why he was often so cold/rude on one hand and so driven on the other hand. Now he's just another "enigmatic black man" like Tende or Riitho (although these characters are more understandable and likeable).
So all in all, I give Bitter Chocolate 4 stars instead of 5. But I'm very much looking forward to Lesley Lokko's new novel, Rich girl poor girl; I can't wait to dive in!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Madden on 6 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous story of three women, all from different backgrounds but linked throughout the story; their lives and how they unfold is told in this unputdownable book which is mow my favourite of all Lesley Lokko's novels. The tale starts in Haiti, moves to America, London, Worcester, back to Haiti and is thoroughly enjoyable in every way. Fabulous descriptions of places and people, relationships and great plot development. It spans a period of about 20 years and there are some very moving moments to the story. This is ideal for a relaxing holiday read; not too taxing and fast paced enough to keep you wanting to find out what happens.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Carr on 20 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Much better than what I expected! The character's are so real to life complete with flaws, Lokko has a brilliant, expansive imagination means that you feel that you're transported to the dreary, harsh realities of chicago & london to hot, luxurious ghana & Haiti. You can relate to all 3 characters, there's never a dull moment as the pace of the novel flows by wonderfully, without it ever being rushed or slow, which can annoy me! The reader is hooked when all 3 characters intertwine and although *some little bits might be 'predictable' lokko writes in such a sophisticated, mesmerising style that it all fits together perfectly. A brilliant novel to take on holiday, thought-prokoking, high class.. and of course it really is 'sheer indulgence, sophisticated and very sexy' but at the same time stays grounded. My only critisism is that at the end we don't find out if Melanie ever gets the one thing she craves in life, which is love. I thought Lokko could have involved her a bit more, especially near the very end as the reader is left wandering if she ever finds true love again- or her rockstar dad tries to make amends by being there for her? i was just left hanging on, thinking 'oh no, where does that leave poor melanie?' But all in all, this novel is unique, quirky, emotional and lingers days after you have read it which makes it top on my list! *****:D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo D'Arcy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a story of three young women seemingly all unrelated but are known by each other for small parts of the book and not known for a greater part of the book where they are trying to find something. Something that makes their life complete. Each searching for their own destiny. Lesley Lokko, who is a new author to me, weaves their own individual tales and towards the end all women seem to pass together.

For me the major background of the story and the title Bitter Chocolate is not one of the confectionary varieties but that of the colour of the skin. It is a story about three women who very different reasons are all touched by the colour of their skin.

Melanie Miller is the daughter of a famous aging rock star who has girlfriends younger than his daughter. She is lost in life and just wants attention, so she seeks it everywhere she goes but never fulfils any real satisfaction. If she has something then the challenge is over and she seeks something else. Her morality is tested many times, but in the end all she holds dear is seemingly not enough.

Laure is the daughter of Belle who disgraced herself by having Laure in the first place. Her father is unknown, so Laure is left with her Grandmother to be brought up and be reminded of how she does not fit in because of the wrong colour of her skin, not the right colour chocolate. Laure follows the same path as her mother including following her to America where she experiences the difficulties in trusting men and forging a life for herself with very little. She achieves this through her relationship with Daniel, two people together who should not be in the eyes of everyone around them.
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