by Joan Sowards
Plot Summary:She’s in love . . .
He’s out of reach . . .
Is there any hope?
Janie Rose Whitaker’s world revolved around her chocolate shop until Roger Wentworth and his young daughter moved into the apartment across from Janie’s. Anyone would think Roger fit the mold of the “perfect” guy, but soon Janie discovers secrets that could keep them apart forever. Though she resists getting involved in Roger’s complicated life, they are drawn further into a bittersweet relationship.
You will laugh, cry, and crave chocolate as you read this LDS parody of the classic novel 'Jane Eyre.'
Expectations:Jane Eyre parody? Chocolate? Sounds good to me! And seems like it'll be a sweet romance. *obligatory groan*
Review:Janie Whitaker is in looovveee. With a man she sees for a few minutes every week, when he comes in to buy some chocolate to be delivered to a mysterious person at a mental institution. He barely acknowledges her, barely knows that she is there, yet she has an instant infatuation with him because he’s extremely handsome and has very sad eyes. Not really the stuff of inspiring romance - I could have used a little more character development with Roger Wentworth. He is a good man of course, but since Janie hardly knows him, I hardly know him. The book has an LDS slant, and most of the main characters are Mormons, with one character converting in the book. Not being of that faith myself, I was a little confused at some of the things Mormons do as part of their religion, but it is not a major part of the book.
There is some intrigue with the secret Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth are keeping, but Janie does know fairly early on that Mr. Wentworth is married and she does her best to fight her feelings for him. That conflict then is pretty straightforward, and I had a hard time feeling much sympathy with Janie since she knew what she was getting into. This novel is a modern update of Jane Eyre, (there are also quotes from the original novel, heading each chapter) but the whole thing felt very sanitized, and Mr. Wentworth seemed more like a cardboard cutout of a character for Janie to project her feelings on to. And I suppose because she was Mormon, Janie was far too concerned with obtaining a husband sometimes and that made me admire her character less. The supporting characters - mainly the ones who work in the shop with Janie - were more entertaining and the more oblique nods to characters in Jane Eyre (like John, the Baptist, Trevor, and Janie’s dog, Flo) made me smile because I appreciated their inclusion in the story. Overall, this story was quite passion-less for me; I didn’t feel particularly moved by the characters, or their predicament, the main interest it held for me was in how aspects of Jane Eyre were worked into the story.
Fourth book of ten in the 2012 Books of Eyre Reading Challenge