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Bread & Chocolate

by Philippa Gregory


Philippa Gregory is best known for her historical fiction novels, like The Other Boleyn Girl and The Other Queen (win a copy today!) but she has written many short stories set in modern times for magazines and other publications. A selection of these tales, as well as several never before printed, were gathered together into the collection Bread & Chocolate


I think one of the reasons the little book appealed to me was the sheer variety of the stories inside. Some of them are scary, with freaky supernatural occurrences. There’s a sensual-food story (like Chocolat if you ever read that; one of those books where the descriptions of food are mouthwatering and you can taste the words as you read) from which the title Bread & Chocolate comes from, wherein a famous chef renowned for her ‘wicked’ cakes tempts a priest while he’s on her cooking program to showcase the bread he bakes for his monastery. All but one of the stories take place in England, and several of them feel very “cozy” to me. By cozy I mean that there’s a celebration of domesticity; many of the stories focus on women who are stay-at-home wives or artist-types without out a 9-to-5 job, and even though each woman has her set of problems I can’t help but envy them, because there’s nothing I want less than to drive to an office or a shop every day and work and fight in the corporate rat race. But that’s not every story. A young anthropologist works on his ground-breaking study of the Nloko people which will launch him into stardom, never stopping to consider that the Nloko may have their own plans for him. One man cheats on his wife but she tricks him into staying; another man cheats but his wife gets revenge instead. There’s this wicked glee in the stories that occasionally pops up in Gregory’s novels, but she uses it very effectively here.


It is a real pity that Bread and Chocolate, Philippa Gregory’s collection of short stories, was never printed in the US. Thanks to Bookmooch.com I was able to get a copy of this rare book (rare in America, anyway) and I highly recommend it if you can find it. 



            To read more about Bread & Chocolate, buy it or add it to your wishlist, click here.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
I'd really like to read this. It's going on my wish list, definitely.
Nov. 1st, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this book when I read it a few years ago. Everything I had read prior to that from PG was historical so it was interesting to read her writing in a contemporary setting.
Nov. 2nd, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
Ooh, this sounds interesting. I love good food descriptions. I'll try and find it.
Nov. 2nd, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
I wasn't sure about this one, even though I love Philippa Gregory's historical fiction (can't wait for her next three books to come out!) but it actually sounds quite good. Maybe I'll give it a try!
Nov. 3rd, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
audio available at Powell's
This is available (but backordered) for US$61.25 on audio tape at Powell's (http://www.powells.com/partner/33342/biblio/9780753110096), but they don't have a paper copy. Or you can find copies at AbeBooks (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Gregory&sts=t&tn=Bread+and+Chocolate&x=0&y=0); they're mostly in the UK. There are a few in Australia and Germany; the copies in the states are US$20-30. I just ordered a hardback from the UK for US$10. Thanks for the recommendation!
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: audio available at Powell's
I'm glad you were able to find a reasonably-priced copy! $60 for an audio tape (I don't think I even have a tape player anymore!) is still pretty steep :-p
Nov. 3rd, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
I'm going to have to look into getting a copy of this book! It sounds very interesting!
Nov. 3rd, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Have you ever read Blessed are the Cheesemakers or By Bread Alone by Sarah-Kate Lynch?

I love love love books that revolve around food...

Edited at 2008-11-03 05:20 pm (UTC)
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
I have not read those, but I just may have to.

Another book that revolves around food that's supposed to be fantastic is Stealing Buddha's Dinner...or Lunch...actually, for the life of me I can't remember the proper name but I bet it'd Google up pretty fast..
Nov. 5th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
from Dawn at SheIsTooFondOfBooks.com
Wow! Thanks for bringing this to our (my) attention. I've really been enjoying short stories lately. It may be out of my budget for now, but I'll look into mooching, etc.
Nov. 7th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
I love her books!!! Dangit that it is hard to find or not available here...you had me hook, line and sinker....shucks!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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