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The Confectioner's Tale

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,659 ratings  ·  321 reviews
What secrets are hiding in the heart of Paris?

At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner's daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air.

But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, an
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 21st 2015 by Black Swan (first published April 23rd 2015)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,659 ratings  ·  321 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Two stories, eighty years apart, in present day a young woman searching for answers relating to a scandal in her recently passed away, beloved grandfather's life. Her grandfather name os J.,Stevenson, so imagine my surprise when the past story picks up in Paris and narrated by a young man named Gui. All becomes clear as the story progresses and it was a aha moment for me when it connected.

A well known patisserie in Paris, a young man who is given the opportunity to learn to be a chef, some b
Primrose Jess
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
How do you sum up a book that was "Ok"? A book with a pleasant story that rambled along at a steady pace yet did not touch or speak to you? I'm not really sure how to review this one just yet. It was a nice read but nothing stood out that would allow me to recommend it to anyone.

I'll try to think more on it and come back with a better review.
“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

----Kahlil Gibran

Laura Madeleine, an English author, pens her debut novel, The Confectioner's Tale that portrays the story of a young man falling for a famous pastry shop's owner's daughter that blossoms into something forbidden, meanwhile, somewhere 80 years later, a PhD student discovers an old photograph of a pastry shop in Paris in her recently deceased grandfather's treasure, that takes her back in time to
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, netgalley
So I could just boringly 'blah, blah', blah' about the dual narrative, the writing style, the characters etc etc.

However, all that is screaming at me is, 'go to Paris, visit a patisserie, eat the mouth watering desserts described in the Confectioner's Tale!'.

Okay, so on a serious note:
- a really good debut
- captivating and easy to read
- history, mystery and romance
- scrumptious

If the above sounds appealing, then read it.

Thankyou to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this deligh
Fiona MacDonald
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
What a wonderful story and mystery to transport me to another world in these scary times we are currently living in.
We switch in dual narrative between a scandal in 1910 Paris to Cambridge university in the 1980s.
Patisserie Clermont is THE café to be seen in at the turn of the 20th century, and for one lucky man who happened to be in the right place at the right time, he has been given a glimpse into the most delectable and delicious workings of the chefs in the kitchen. Guillerme du Frere start
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it

A chance encounter, a patisserie, back and forth in time, and secrets that will keep you turning the pages.

We meet Guillaume du Frere in 1910 who started out as a railway man, met the daughter of the owner of a patisserie, and then saved her life. Saving her life took Guillaume away from the difficult railway work and into the sweet, hard-working life in a patisserie.

We meet Petra in 1988 who is writing a thesis and stumbles upon the files of her grandfather who has a secret that is well hidden
Katie B
This book was right up my alley because it had a decades old family mystery, France and England as settings, and yummy descriptions of pastries. The action goes back and forth between a granddaughter in 1980s England digging into the past of her now deceased grandfather and a young man in early 1900s France who is captivated by the confectioner's daughter.

While the author might not be on the same level as Kate Morton, the story held enough interest and I ended up finishing it up in one evening.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Unfolding through dual timelines, The Confectioners Tale by Laura Madeleine is a pleasant blend of history, romance and light mystery.

In the present (well, 1988), Cambridge PhD candidate Petra Stevenson is desperate to protect her adored late grandfather's reputation from being sullied by a biographer promising to reveal his role in an old scandal. Anxious to deflect any dishonour, and hoping to discover a more benign truth, Petra doggedly works to piece together events that took place in Paris
Katie W
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I like stories that go back and forth between modern time and history, especially when there is a slight mystery to uncover.

The 1988 story tells of Petra. Her famous grandfather has passed away and a biographer uncovers a potential scandal. She's determined to solve the mystery before this man can. On the flip side, in 1910 Paris, we are treated to the story of a forbidden love story of two people from different classes--the rich and the poor.

I enjoyed the historical story more than Petra's, y
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 2.5 STARS

I was really looking forward to this one -- I mean: Paris, a love affair and chocolate?! I couldn't ask for more. Sadly, the execution of this one resulted in something more boring than romantic. This is told intercalary between Paris in 1909-1910 and Cambridge, UK in 1988. Graduate student, and granddaughter of a famous author, Petra finds her grandfather's affects include a picture from Paris in 1909 with handwritten note. She deci
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: madeleine-laura
Such a delightful story by Laura Madeleine, my first by this author. The Confectioner's Tale is told in side by side chapters set in 1910 and 1988...the story of two families and how a mistake made in 1910
resounds through the generations. I loved the writing, the story and the settings both in Paris and in Cambridge, England. I recommend this story to readers who enjoy dual time stories and who particularly enjoy a book set in the early 1900s. I have another of Laura Madeleine's books, Where Th
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Well I give it 3 1/2 stars.

The writing was great and the back and forth time jump, didn't bother me too much. But the past time line was so much better then the present one by far. I wanted more of that. The past never really talked too much about her grandfather and I would of liked more of that.

I have to say the ending made me very mad. I can't believe how unfinished the story was. Too many loose ends and not enough answers. It left Petra's life up in the air. I would have given so many more s
Joanna Park
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
1988: Throughout her life Petra has always been incredibly close to her Grandad Jim, known to the world as the famous writer JS Stevenson. When he dies she is understandably very upset, especially when it transpires that his entire estate has gone to her estranged father and has given permission for an autobiographer to have full access to his papers in order for him to write an official biography. She is further infuriated when the autobiographer hints at discovering a huge scandal that her Gra ...more
Maybe a 2.8 or 2.9? Light and Fluffy, certainly not a not to be missed. A poolside read for sure. Not a complicated or particularly compelling plot, though the love story does make one want to root for love to prevail. One is not sure of a few things. For one, why the present day main character is on such a tear. One also wonders what it is they present day characters actually know that is so compelling to them, because our read of the story compels us more. They have so little to go on. "Scanda ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Its a sweet love story about the upper and lower classes of that period, interwoven in the background of a cafe for the rich and the living quarters of the poor. There is a hint of mystery, which keeps you turning the pages, to know what happened in the past and what the future held for the couple.
I loved the descriptions of the sweet goodies in the cafe and the comparison to what the workers had for their break.
The author has done justice to interlink the chapters, with the past and the present
Jenny Q
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It was exactly what I needed to sweep me away for a couple of days. However, I can't deny that there are some holes left at the end of the story, and I think the reader deserved one last chapter in the historical storyline. But it gets four big stars for emotion, unputdownability, and the descriptions of French pastries!
It's 1909 and Guillerme du Frere is leaving the provincial town of Bordeaux to travel to Paris to work on the railways. At the same time, in 1988 PhD candidate Padra Stevenson is struggling to cope with her grandfather's death. She is also gravely worried, because when clearing out his effects she found an old photo of her grandfather with two other people, with "Claremont" and "Forgive me" written on the back. What did her lovely, kind and brilliant grandfather do in early 20th Century Paris th ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on audiobook.

It was the gorgeous cover that drew me to this book first, but then when I read the blurb and saw that it was historical fiction with a daul timeline storyline, I was like yep definitely got to read this as love those sort of books.

I really enjoyed the story to this, didn't take me long to get into it at all and I was soon captivated by the secrets and mystery of it all.

The ending was lovely, thought it bought the story to a perfect conclusion and I really liked
Shae Bright
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Magical. I very much enjoyed the story of Guillaume and Jeanne. I also loved how this book time shifted so easily. It was not confusing for the reader as some can be. Many times throughout the book I found myself in parts where there was NO WAY I could put it down and stop reading at the spot I was at. Towards the end it was all I could do to not page ahead the last 50 pages to see how it ended... (I liked the ending, BTW. I thought it did the story justice...)
Caitlin Vaille
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a really fun read! I loved the atmosphere, the baking elements, and the light mystery throughout. I was never very attached to the characters, but they were likeable enough. I felt like the entire plotline of Petra's thesis could have been left out-- it was pretty unnecessary. Overall, though, I really liked this book as a classic feel-good Parisian story.
Daniella Bernett
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A tender, bittersweet mingling of mystery and romance in the waning days of Belle Epoque Paris. A delightful read.

Originally posted on This Chick Reads

*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

'The Confectioner's Tale' is Laura Madeleine's debut, and what a terrific debut it is! I've read it couple of days ago, yet I'm still thinking about the characters.

'The Confectioner's Tale' follows two stories, the story of Petra in 1988, who's trying to find out more about her grandfathers involvement in a scandal, and of Guillerme du Frere, back in 1909 who's off to Paris to work on the railways.
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
You can find this review on The Opinions Of A Bookaholic

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Before I even started this book, there were two things in its favor. One, it’s about food, and two, it’s set in Paris.

But when I started, thinking I could take my time reading it, I was genuinely surprised. This book was so good, it’s crazy. And totally unexpected.

Consider this: I have an exam tomorrow, one that is supposed to be really hard. I haven’t touched my textbook.
Karen Mace
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy these dual narrative books and a great mix of history and romance has this book high up on my favourites list!

Set in Paris in 1909, and in England in 1989 the story switches effortlessly between each time and the need to solve the mystery of the photograph has you constantly just reading one more chapter....

Loved the setting and beautiful descriptions of Paris in 1909 and having Gui, who used to work on the railways and ends up at the wonderful patisserie where he meets Jeanne, g
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mesmerizing, heartwarming, and incredibly clever!

This story is set in two time periods, Paris in the early 1900s and Cambridge in the late 1980s, and is told from alternating points of view. Guillaume, a hardworking labourer who meets and falls in love with the privileged daughter of a famous pâtissier. And Petra, a young student, who endeavours to solve an age-old mystery plaguing the memory of her beloved grandfather, a famous journalist.

The writing is exceptionally descriptive and atmospheric
Rachael McDiarmid
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this in a single setting (on an international flight) and realised how perfect it was for those of us that love to absorb our historical fiction and romantic stories. It's a simple story, no complexity, about love, life and a patisserie in Paris in the early 1900's. It's a typical dual storyline, beloved by historical fiction writers, that has the story playing out in two different periods - an older one and a more modern one where our protagonist is on a literary quest to uncover something ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A pretty little tale of a research student in a few days in May, 1988, trying to find more information about her deceased grandfather before a professor does. He claims he has information about her grandfather that will be scandalous.

Each chapter alternates time. May 1988 and Petra the student, who is pretty flat and not very likable, or unlikable, and then Paris, May 1910, and *those* parts of the book are the best parts. There are no terribly surprising twists, but nice little spirals that ke
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dual timeline and a Paris setting? There was little chance I wasn't going to read this book!

Back in 1910, a love affair begins between a high society lady and a man working in her father's patisserie. In 1988, a student finds out her grandfather had some connection to the couple and wants to find out what happened almost 80 years before, before a potential scandal erupts.

I love a good dual timeline - although sometimes one of the stories suffers a bit, here they both worked. The older story ha
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Warning: this book will make you want to eat all kinds of French pastries! A nice, easy read, I was caught up in both parts of the story - Gui and Jeanne's love story in 1910 and Petra, the Cambridge grad student in the 1980s, who tries to unravel a family mystery.
Lori Connor
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice past and present summer read. I enjoyed my time with this book.
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Play Book Tag: The Confectioner's Tale, 2.8 stars by Laura Madeline 1 8 Jul 21, 2017 04:56AM  

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Laura Madeleine is the bestselling author of The Confectioner’s Tale, Where the Wild Cherries Grow, The Secrets Between Us and An Echo of Scandal.

After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura changed her mind, and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon and get

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