Title: Christmas Chocolat
Author: Kate Defrise
Genre: Christmas, Women’s Fiction
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Kensington Books
My Rating: 4 stars
In this warm, engaging debut novel, four siblings make their way home, where their father, the memory of their mother, and long-held family secrets all collide just in time for Christmas.
For Maggie Arnaud and her siblings, childhood Christmases meant lavish feasts and beloved rituals. The day began with hot chocolate and cougnolle de Noel —the sweet, rich bread traditional in their parents’ native Belgium. Those special holidays ended with their mother’s death, and their father has grown more distant each year. But now, he has summoned his grown children once again. And none of them is eager to expose their imperfect lives to his scrutiny…
Jacqueline is an opera singer living in Brussels—outwardly successful but yearning for a deeper fulfillment. Near Philadelphia, cookbook writer Maggie’s career and marriage are in turmoil. Colette, an aspiring clothing designer in California, lost her boyfriend and her savings in one blow. And roving younger brother Art is still searching for something—or someone. Armed with their insecurities, rivalries—and their mother’s most delicious recipes—the Arnauds gather in Pennsylvania. But a good meal does more than feed the body—it awakens memories, nurtures bonds, and might even bring a family back together.
Includes classic Belgian recipes.
Read on for my thoughts on Christmas Chocolat. No true spoilers, promise.