Alexandra Frobisher is a modern thinking woman hoping for a career in England’s famous chocolate making town of York. But it is 1915, and Alex’s father states, “Association with the factory floor will not do – not for a Frobisher girl”.
Alex has turned down a number of ‘suitable’ marriage proposals much to her parents displeasure but she agrees to marry Matthew Britten-Jones, who promises to allow her the freedom she craves and even encourages her in her dream to establish a chocolate-making business. With his family connections in the railway which transports chocolate from Rowntrees chocolate factory, Matthew enables her to be introduced to the management and taken on a factory tour.
They agree to take Alex on as a factory tour leader but before that, she get as a day working in the Chocolate Tin Room, where special tins of chocolate are being packed for sending to the troops in France. At the end of the morning packing tins Alex picked up a pencil and a scrap of paper and “scrawled a quick message. Come home safely. With love, Kitty” and placed the note in a tin. The author takes the reader to France where the note is found, and so begins and intriguing search for the writer of the note.
I loved this book, it is a real page-turner and anyone who enjoys a family saga with a strong female character will find the book a great read. It has a good balance of history and romance blended with some controversial secrets and mystery, all ingredients for a stimulating read.
Fiona McIntosh has written a number of books and her meticulous research into the story background has seen her become one of Australia’s most popular modern writers. In her acknowledgments at the rear of the book McIntosh thanks the historians who worked with her in York and also the battlefields in France helping her to “get the sense of place right for this book”.
Reviewed by Lesley McIntosh
The Chocolate Tin
by Fiona McIntosh
Published by Michael Joseph