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Chocolate Girls Paperback – 1 Mar 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Chocolate Girls + The Bells of Bournville Green + Birmingham Blitz
Price For All Three: £21.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Edit/Cover edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447206460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447206460
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (606 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annie Murray was born in Berkshire and read English at St John's College, Oxford. Her first 'Birmingham' novel, Birmingham Rose, hit The Times bestseller list when it was published in 1995. She has subsequently written many other successful novels, including The Bells of Bournville Green, sequel to the bestselling Chocolate Girls, and A Hopscotch Summer. Annie has four children and lives near Reading.

Product Description

Review

Delightfully innocent, filled with tenderness, perception and drama. -- Western Mail Magazine, May 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Set between 1939 and 1959, this is a story of love, war and chocolate!

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Readaholic on 1 July 2008
Format: Paperback
This book takes you on a great journey through time, into Birmingham during the Blitz, It is both historically spot on, and interesting at the same time.

The way in which Annie Murray combines fact with fiction is spellbinding, This is a very clever story, that takes you through the highs and lows of a community suffering at the hands of hitler and life in general.

The three main women characters in this books lives are intertwined, and being the best of friends they are there for eachother throughout, this in itself makes me pretty envious of the lives of these fictious characters. The way the author has combined their lives and built up their characters throughout is very realistic, and believable.
This is an absorbing story, with mny twists and turns.

I would recommend this book to anyone, it is very well written, and shows the real mastermind behind Annie Murray. It is no wonder that this book recieved an acredited award! FANTASTIC BOOK!
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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Sazzle on 2 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book from a random pile at work; wanting something to read on the train. This is not a book I would usually select but I must say that I was completely enthralled - not only by the characters, the experiences of wartime, the brilliant descriptions but mainly the realism and the way the author does not just concentrate on one element (like I find with my usual crime thrillers where the author only researches one or two topics well).

Annie Murray writes intelligently about Birmingham, Cadbury's/Bournville, WWII, life on the home front, emotions of men after returning from war, the issues of pregnancy and infidelity in the 30s-50s, Judaism, Israel, the effects of the Holocaust on the survivors, adoption and she has also created 3-dimensional characters who are flawed but who you feel you understand (even if you don't always like them, esp. where Ruby or Edie's mum is concerned!)

This was a VERY pleasant surprise! I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a captivating story. Highly recommended; I will be reading more of Annie Murray!!!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Carol Arnall on 26 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really interesting and well researched book made all the more readable as I worked in the Bournville/Stirchley area in the late 1950's/60's. It took me back to the streets I walked on and place I recognized at one of the happiest periods of my life. Annie Murray has created some wonderful characters and a book well worth a read.
What I do admire about her books are she does not centre each book on the same area as some authors do Annie takes you all around the city and sets her books on different estates etc. so in fact despite being an enjoyable read you learn more about the city's history. An added bonus but by no means boring. In fact despite living in Birmingham until 1969 I feel Annie Murray knows the city and it's history far more than I do and I look forward as ever to the next book.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Reynolds VINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
The Chocolate Girls begins in the 1930's and is the story of three girls whose lives revolve around work in Cadbury's Chocolate Factory, in Bournville, Birmingham. It follows the story of Edith, Ruby, and Janet - three very different young women, facing different obstacles, and bound to each other by the ties of friendship.
The first part of the story focuses on the Second World War, and the efforts of the three women (and the women of Britain in general) to look after their communities during terrible times and struggles.
The second part stretches into the 1950's, and is based on self-discovery, and post-war life.
The book is a comfortable read. It would not be a pulitzer prize winner, however, the author does succeed in determining enough characterisation to keep the reader interested.
One of the factors that became somewhat irritating after the first chapter was Murray's tendency to write in "brummie" dialect. Unfortunately, some of the phrases were not accurate, and as a result detracted from the plotlines. I cannot help feeling that with less emphasis on the actual accent of the main characters, and with more focus on the words that were being said, The Chocolate Girls could have been a roaring success.
The storyline is both inventive, and captures well the emotions and experiences of the women and children during war-time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Chocolate making is central to the setting as Cadbury's chocolate makers in Bourneville, Birmingham, is where three girls meet and chat as they lead busy lives around their jobs. The factory was run by Quakers who established a village of good housing, a green space around their site and continued education for the young people who came to work with them. Other mentions include free art classes and trips, and a cocoa van sent around during the WW II bombing to sustain workers and bombed out citizens. The firm was not entirely enlightened as a girl had to leave when she married. Supposedly this was because her husband should support her but in fact we see that the women all had to pick up other work which was less pleasant.

The girls from various classes are first met as the war is looming and each fall for unsuitable men so their lives are not easy. The book contains several descriptions of pregnancies, miscarriages and births so this tends to deter male readers. However the chapters about the war are well detailed with care as to the effects of the Blitz and the exhausting and emotionally draining, not to mention dangerous, volunteer work done by men and women. Cadbury's had to re-employ married women as the men were away, and the ration chocolate was an inferior variety, plus much of the factory was turned over to other work such as producing respirators (gas masks). We also get a good look at the lives of Quakers and Jewish people at this time and into the 1950s.

One of the girls adopts a war orphan and the story of this child continues to link the families after the war. The author has written other Birmingham sagas and while this one is not particularly romantic, she does a good job of portraying the people and times.
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