The Chocolate Maker’s Wife by Karen Brooks is a well-written and researched novel based in Seventeenth Century London.
Brooks brings to life the time period. Her descriptions of London are real and vivid and helps the reader to easily visualize the scenes. She also captures the life of a mid-level noble family – the extravagance and pressures of keeping up appearances.
The character development – both primary and secondary – is superb. Brooks makes it easy to revile the antagonists and like the protagonists. Rosamund Blithman is a smart, beautiful and resourceful woman trying to adapt to the world of the wealthy and business.
The book’s greatest strength is its plot. Brooks is an expert story teller and keeps the reader guessing throughout the book. Just when the reader thinks they have the story line figured out, she throws a wrench in the idea with a plot twist.
The book is an excellent portrayal of life in London during the reign of Charles II.