“The Confectioner’s Tale: A Novel of Paris” by Laura Madeleine is a nice love story and it is as sweet and irresistible as a classical French creamy pastry of melted chocolate with some golden caramel added and powdered sugar sprinkled above. But at the same time it’s a secret love story between a young man and woman makes this pastry even sweeter.
He is Guillerme du Frere who leaves his birth town – Bordeaux in search of a job on the railways in Paris. After having jumped from the train he meets the ice-blue eyes of a woman on the platform. After a temptation offered by the big town Gui wakes up helpless with his pockets completely empty. He struggles to find some help and all of a sudden he bumps into the Clemont’s Patisserie, the famous place for sweet temptations of the wealthy in the Belle Epoque. It’s the time of deliveries which are strictly supervised by the same eye-blue woman.
And who is this woman? She is Jeanne Clermont – the beautiful daughter of the owner of the famous Patisserie Clermont. This very first meeting between them puts the beginning of their love relationship which is, actually, against all of the old-fashioned prejudices of the society. Moreover, strange and unknown British journalist Stevenson plays a significant role in their fairy-tale and betrays them both. Namely his betrayal is revealed by his grand-daughter – Padra Stevenson in 1988. She finds an old photograph of his grand-papà and two other young people – Jeanne and Gui and two things written on the back: “Claremont” and “Forgive me“.
So, if you enjoy books that alternate chapters from old and new times, you will definitely like the confectioner’s tale and will get to know what Padra finds out about his grandfather and Jeanne and Gui’s big love.