Julia's Chocolates
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Julia's Chocolates

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  4,776 ratings  ·  691 reviews
"I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota. I don't know why that particular tree appealed to me. Perhaps it was because it looked as if it had given up and died years ago and was still standing because it didn't know what else to do." In her deliciously funny, heartfelt, and moving debut, Cathy Lamb introduces some of the most wonderfully eccentr...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published January 1st 2007)
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JanB
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon A.
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I thought some of the characters and situations were contrived, the confrontations and conversations overblown and silly, and the wrap-ups too pat. However, I consumed this book during a weekend trip with my husband. I read for the entire trip there, every spare moment in the hotel, and the entire trip home.

So what does that say? That while I rolled my eyes throughout much of it, I am a sucker for a happy ending.

I do have one question. Why is it, in ne...more
Diane
Julia Bennett is the central character in this book. She has lived with abuse all of her life with her alcoholic mother and her many boyfriends, and she is reliving it all over again with her fiancé Robert. Finally, one day after being abused she sees the light and decides to leave before her wedding and go to look for refuge with her Aunt Lydia, a woman who has tried to help her in the past.

In living with Lydia, Julia also gets to know a group of women who will help her find herself and heal h...more
Dana
I made a new rule in my house about my non battery operated reading material.. If I put a Pink Ribbon around a Book it is not to be moved... touched... donated (hey I have donated literally HUNDREDS of books so I'm entitled to keep a few ) lent or ANYTHING it means THAT much to me... I put my first pink ribbon around Cathy Lamb's Julia's Chocolates.. I was sent this book right after our devastation of Sandy. For awhile when I would pick it up to read it ..I would cry... I now know why... it remi...more
Britany
The opening line of this book was the best thing about the whole thing. "I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota..."

Julia Bennett runs away on her wedding day from an abusive relationship, into her aunt Lydia's kooky world of giant pigs, farm life, and weekly psychic nights with Lydia's friends. Riddled with many issues, abuse, child neglect, communication, cancer, trust, alcoholism, and mostly figuring out that love completes even the most broken individuals.

For me,...more
Gail
In the first line, Julia tells us she leaves her wedding dress hanging from a tree in North Dakota, as she leaves Boston and drives away from her abusive and dangerous fiance on their wedding day. Her black eye a reminder of how narrowly she escaped a marriage of abuse and humiliation.

She goes to her Aunt Lydia, a feisty, strong, eccentric woman who lives on a farm in Golden Oregon. In this small town, Julia with her big boobs, wild hair, and damaged psyche, finds friendship, safety, and strengt...more
Sherry Gorman
“I left my wedding dress hanging on a tree somewhere in North Dakota.”

These are the captivating words Cathy Lamb selected to begin her wonderfully crafted novel, Julia’s Chocolates. The mental image of a pristine wedding dress hanging limply from a lonely tree in the middle of nowhere is nothing short of genius. From that sentence on, I had to know what one has to do with the other.

Julia Bennett is no stranger to abuse. Growing up neglected by her mother and abused at the hands of her mother’s...more
Cathie
I think I've found a new favorite author. This is the second book by Cathy Lamb I've read, and I can't decide which one I like better. She's such a fantastic author and her books really grab ahold of me.

What is so appealing about this book? Pretty much everything. You have Julia, a young woman who escapes an abusive relationship on her wedding day and moves in with her eccentric Aunt Lydia, who unapologetically hosts women's sexuality "meetings" at her home and grows pot in the basement. Then yo...more
Book Concierge
ZERO stars

One of the worst books I’ve ever read; I finished only because I needed it for a couple of challenges.

I had heard it compared to The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood or The Secret Life of Bees. And the book actually starts with a pretty good first sentence: I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota. Unfortunately it quickly goes downhill.

Julia Bennett has left her incredibly wealthy, violent, abusive fiancé on her wedding day, driving cross-country to...more
Amy
Julia Bennett is a single 34 yr. old woman who's having a life crisis. She had a troubled childhood growing up with an abusive mother who was a drug addict and slept around. Her mother would neglect her and also bring home boyfriends who abused Julia either physically or tried to sexually molest her. Julia used to hang out at the library or the park alot sometimes sleeping there when things got too bad and her teachers and others would pitch in and bring her meals or buy her new clothes, since h...more
Tara
I read this because it was recommended by a friend who could not stop raving about it. I was horrified to read it and to find that I not only didn't like it, but that I hated it. To me, it was like the writer composed what she thought was a recipe for a great book, and followed it step by step to get the desired result. Not only was the chocolate metaphor overdone, but the characters were totally unrealistic, as was much of the dialogue. Most of it was a cliche, from the horrible, abusive boyfri...more
Marilyn Brant
In the character of Julia, Cathy Lamb has created a woman who is warm, funny, unique...and quite literally on the road to self-discovery. After leaving her abusive fiance at the altar in Boston (and her wedding veil on a gnarled tree in North Dakota), Julia keeps driving West until she gets to her aunt's house in Oregon. When she gets there, she meets a community full of quirky, offbeat characters, who show her what it means to support each other, value themselves and honor their passions.

For J...more
Connie
This is my first Cathy Lamb book but I see more to come in my future.
What I thought would be a "modern day chick book" actually had a bit more substance than I expected. It dealt with image issues, abusive relationships and so much more. But beneath it all it was a story about women...their value and their friendships.

Often very humorous, with some over the top characters this book took me on a delightful journey with Julia as she runs away from her life to find out who she really is.

3.5 star...more
Gina Hott
I'm not sure what I did more while reading this book - laugh or cry. It's enlightening, humiliating, and completely enthralling!

It was amazing to me after suffering from the 'Dread Disease' myself that I could laugh when Julia contracts it and hides it from everyone - as did I. (Don't worry it's just panic attacks!) I reread and reread the description of Lydia's sprawling farm with the toilet planters and concrete pigs - mostly because the tears in my eyes kept messing with the words! And I was...more
Stephany G
I really love Chick Lit, but this one would just be between "OK" and "Liked it" for me. I am a harsh judge it seems but this book was over the top. Too much going on, the main story would have been more enjoyable if the whole book was a little simplified. Julia decides to leave her abusive fiance before the wedding at the beginning of the book and runs to her Aunt in a small town knowing he will follow eventually and get even with her. Her way of coping, and her gift in life, is chocolate making...more
Jan
Julia left her wedding dress hanging in a tree and her abusive relationship in Boston on her way to Golden, Oregon, home of her mother's half sister, the quirkiest of them all, to find herself. Eccentric, Aunt Lydia "grounds" Julia while surrounding her with love, friends, farm animals and the chores they create. Those friends include a psychic with secrets, a minister's very unhappy wife and an abused mother of four. This oddball group gather strength from each other and are able to bare their...more
Mrs. Schatz
At the beginning I doubted why I had picked this book to read. Then Julia began to make friends and let herself heal. It was a story of 5 women who needed to overcome obstacles, humougous & to some people insurmountable, but they did. They did with love, friendship, laughter, and inner strength. Aunt Lydia knows how to channel a woman's inner strength with her Pyschic Nights and women's bodies. It made me laugh, cry, and cherish my women friends and love my husband even more. Great read!!!
"G...more
Bridget Mazzocca
Sometimes a girl just needs a good old fashioned "women who overcome obstacles and come out on top" type of book. This is exactly that!! I thoroughly enjoyed this one! It was just such a perfect girlie book! Also my first from Lamb but not my last.....Introduction to a new favorite author...SUCCESS!
Angie Windheim
The Lit Ladies Book Club rallied from the difficult to digest Angela’s Ashes last month, to the eat-it-up-quick-as-you-can Julia’s Chocolates. Cathy Lamb channels The Secret Life of Bees and The Ya-Ya Sisterhood with this turn on a lost soul of tragic beginnings who finds her true self through the company of some very unique and extreme friendships.

Lamb’s story centers on Julia. She is running away from a horrible past and even worse future. We get to witness her growth and awakening in the arms...more
AJ
I've heard so many women like this book and I think that it's possible that the subject matter is what draws them, but the problems with this book are too great to ignore in spite of the serious and potentially positive message within.

First of all the only thing that can be said about the writing is that it is juvenile. This is seriously one of the most poorly written books I've ever read. Cathy Lamb makes Stephanie Meyers look like Jane Austin.

I couldn't stomach it after the 2nd chapter: the fl...more
Karen
Well, I finished Julia's Chocolates and I enjoyed it. Whenever I finish a book,if I liked the characters and will miss them a bit then I've enjoyed the story. There sure were plenty of problems in this book and it touches on a ton of social issues. However, it also focuses on the fact that community and support networks are wonderful and very important things. Women can help other women if their hearts are open, fearless and judgment free. I laughed, I cried and I reflected. Above all, I felt a...more
Tamra
Ok, I have to admit the title is what drew me to this book. Anything that has "chocolate" in the title has GOT to be good, right? Well...

Julia arrives at her quirky and over-the-feminist-top aunt's home with a - literally - bruised and broken body and spirit to escape her verbally and physically abusive fiance. She then meets Aunt Lydia's "Psychic Night" women friends who are struggling to find their own inner strength and courage to overcome personal problems of their own.

As far as Julie find...more
Maria Ulery
Well I absolutely loved this book in many ways. I loved Julia and Aunt Lydia and the girls club...and hated Robert so very much. Cathy has a way with characters and descriptions of life that are around every scene that make you A) think you knew them forever and B) you want to go wherever the town is that she is describing! In Julia's Chocolates Julia Bennett leaves her pig of an ex beau on her wedding day to travel 1/2 way across country to Aunt Lydia who has always made her feel safe and loved...more
Shellys♥ Journal
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Elisa
Well, I generally like these “girl gets away from her jerk boyfriend/husband and learns to love herself and life” books and this novel makes sure it hits all the bases. Cancer, wacky girl nights where they get their estrogen flowing and appreciate their female body parts, abusive husbands and fiancés along with abused children. It was silly and fun and enjoyable, but dang was it pushy and it tackles some difficult issues. It is also a little clichéd and predictable. But occasionally, it is prett...more
JayeL
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie (Moviemavengal)
I think I was expecting this to be a romance, and it's really more something else - a story of women's empowerment after various forms of abuse and trauma. You can tell it's a debut novel. I felt like the author threw in everything and the kitchen sink -- how much MORE trauma and awful things could the heroine have endured in her life?! I'm sure the awful things that Julia endured are not really unusual, unfortunately, but they are more than I'm used to reading about. The zany supporting charact...more
Ann
This was the first Cathy Lamb book I read, and I loved it! I think I've found a new favorite author. Yes, I agree with some other reviewers that there is a lot going on, but that is what makes this book so interesting. I liked to so much, I picked up a second book by her-- Henry's Sisters--and I just finished a third one--The Last Time I was Me.

Here is what they have in common: They are about current social issues--mental illness, addiction, dysfunction or abusive relationships. But I have reall...more
Wendy
I really enjoyed this book! There were times in the beginning of the book that I laughed out loud (especially at their variously named Psychic nights).
Julia runs away from her society marriage at the last moment throwing her hated wedding dress into a tree. She goes to live with her Aunt Lydia who has always been her escape, first from her abusive and neglectful mother, and now from her abusive ex-fiance. Julia falls into small town life and into a group of women who all have their quirks and di...more
Pat Gent
Everyone needs an Aunt Lydia in their lives, if only to help us face the really bad parts.

The book is definitely "chick-lit," written in a warm and humorous voice, but it tackles some really big issues - particularly physical abuse, including that of children. The main idea of the story is "coming of age" of a battered woman, of her growing into an appreciation of herself through the love and nurturing of a collection of other broken and conflicted women. Its funny how we can so easily see the...more
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Bookworm Bitches : February 2014: Julia's Chocolates 22 136 Mar 15, 2014 04:02PM  
predictable? 4 23 Feb 28, 2014 04:01AM  
Goodreads Librari...: correction of detail in a review. 2 27 Nov 28, 2013 07:14AM  
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Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.

She then embarked on her notable academic career where she e...more
More about Cathy Lamb...
The Last Time I Was Me Henry's Sisters Such a Pretty Face The First Day of the Rest of My Life A Different Kind of Normal

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