The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes follows Puri, a Spanish chocolatier who inherited a cocoa estate in Ecuador. Ms. Hughes is an author who was born and raised in Ecuador, but moved to the US as an adult.
- 305 pages
- Publisher : Kensington
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1496736249
I do love chocolate, and I certainly love books.
Chocolatiering is an art which I always think would be fun, but I know it’s harder than it looks. Also, as a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, I’ll probably never touch chocolate again if I have to work with it daily.
For the past few years, whenever I pick up a historical fiction book, I make it a point to read the author’s notes first. This gives me some historical context of what I’m about to read, and actually makes the story more enjoyable.
In her notes, the author imagined María Purificacíon Garcia, grandmother of the protagonist, invented the coffee & cocoa beans roaster. It’s sad that even knowing her name, I can’t find any information on her on the web. I’m amazed that the author managed to even to find her name.
I enjoyed reading about Vinces, Ecuador, nicknamed “Little Paris”, as well as the cocoa plantation. The descriptions of the local foods, customs, society, and certainly the cocoa industry were excellent.
There was very little “chocolate” in The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes, though. I was looking forward to reading about the process of making chocolate, as well as cultivating the cocoa estate. Puri, after all, used to own and run a chocolate store, and she just inherited a vast estate. It would have been nice to go through the learning process with her.
There were two, maybe three, scenes of Puri preparing chocolate, very little about the actual cultivation and farming of cocoa beans. Instead we get a murder/mystery type of a story, which was fine, however unexpected.
María Purificación “Puri” de Lafont y Toledo, a Spanish chocolatier, has inherited a successful cocoa estate in Vinces, Ecuador from her estranged father. Together with her husband, Cristóbal, Puri is leaving war ravaged Europe for a brighter future.
Going across the Atlantic Ocean, an assassin tries to kill them both. Puri is forced to take on Cristóbal’s identity attempting to discover the truth about her family, and father’s darkest secrets.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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