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Chocolate Girls Hardcover – 7 Mar 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 658 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 7 Mar 2003
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (7 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333989465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333989463
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (658 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,533,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
I LOVED THIS BOOK ABOUT 3 GIRLS LIVING IN BOURNVILLE BIRMINGHAM AND WORKING AT CADBURY'S DURING THE 2ND WORLD WAR, AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT LIVES.
IT WAS SPECIAL TO ME AS I WAS BORN AND BRED IN BOURNVILLE, IN THE 1940'S, MY MOTHER HAVING WORKED AT CADBURY'S ALL HER LIFE.
THE BOOK WAS VERY ACCURATE ABOUT BOURNVILLE AND CADBURY LIFE AS
I KNEW IT. ONE OF THE GIRLS EVEN LIVED IN THE ROAD I LIVED IN, AND IT BROUGHT BACK MANY PERSONAL MEMORIES HAVING GONE TO THE JUNIOR SCHOOL, SANG IN THE CHURCH CHOIR ON THE GREEN, AND ALSO
MARRIED IN ST FRANCIS CHURCH ON THE GREEN
I FEEL THE AUTHOR DID MUCH RESEARCH AND THE BOOK IS ALSO A GOOD READ. I WAS INTERESTED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 3 GIRLS.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't the sort of book I usually go for. I chose it because I was born in Bournville into a Quaker family. My grandmother worked at Cadbury's during the war, and I spent the first years of my life in that area of Birmingham.

Because of the above, I enjoyed all the "local colour": the Meeting House, Cadbury's, the swimming pool (where I used to go), the rest house on the green, St Francis' church, the crocuses in spring. It was fun to think that my grandmother would have ben working alongside these fictional girls, and going to Meeting with them.

There are problems with the characters and story though. I think Edie behaves strangely. She was keen enough to get married at nineteen (to escape her family I suspect, as I felt no passion or affection between her and Jack) and then is content to be celibate for nearly twenty years, and then rushes into marriage with another guy. I found this rather unbelievable.

The first two thirds or so of the book are very slow, with little happening, except day to day events, then the last bit (David's story, Edie's romance, the Israel stuff) seems very rushed, as though the author is on a sprint finish to the end.

However, because of my personal connections I have ordered the sequel. If the book had been set elsewhere I probably wouldn't have because it wasn't quite good enough.
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