Monday, November 21, 2005

Bread and Chocolate by Philippa Gregory

I have previously read and enjoyed several books by Philippa Gregory, so when I saw this collection of short stories at the library on audio book, I just had to pick it up and listen to it.

The collection of stories were varied, with only one historical setting. Some were whimsical, some heart rending, some surprising. All in all a good mix!!

The short stories were:

Bread and Chocolate - a brother from a monastery is discovered by the producers of a TV food show. He is brought on to make bread, and one of his co presenters is a wildly sensuous TV cook who makes a wicked chocolate cake.

Coo-ee - A guest lecturer on a cruise through the Aegean meets a larger than life Yorkshire lady who leaves quite an impression.

The Favour - The only one of the short stories set in historical times, a young girl rejects her suitor on the day of a jousting tournament, and then has to deal with the consequences when he is fatally injured.

Theories about Men - Having been the perfect wife for many years, Stephanie finds that her husband has been having an affair and gets to put her theories about men to the test. You can read this story on Philippa Gregory's website Click here

Lady Emily's Swim - What goes through the mind of spritely Lady Emily as she completes her regular 20 lap swim. You might be surprised!! I was!

The If Game - A married newsreader plays the if game with a colleague - If you were my mistress, we would be incredibly happy, if I got a job in London we could live together during the week. Problem is, he can't seem to stop playing the If game.

The Conjuring Trick

The Wave Machine - One of the highlights for me. A young girl is sent to stay with her artist uncle for the summer. They spend most of the summer looking for the Wave Machine that powers the ocean waves.

The Magic Box - A pregnant photographer whose husband has previously been unfaithful has given up much of her former life. Then, she comes to own a very special old camera, housed in a beautiful box.

The Garden - A repressed housewife gets revenge over her overly controlling husband.

The Last Swan - A young girl joins a sychronised swimming team and goes off to the national championships.

The Bimbo - A bimbo comes to work in a London office...but could she be smarter than she looks.

The Playmate - A plain young woman, who has always been overshadowed by her glamorous mother is reunited with the one person she has always valued for loving her for herself.

Going Down River - a scientist has spent nearly a year with a formerly undocumented tribe. As he nears the time to return home he shares his thoughts in a diary form for us.

The Other Woman - A wronged wife takes step to find out about the other woman, and ends up getting closer than she intended.

The Visitor - A yuppy couple who live in a minimalistic apartment in London recieve an unexpected visitor for the holiday season, who causes mayhem in their lives.

Catching the Bus - A young girl's mother has been saving for years to send one of her children to the local comprehensive school to give them a chance to get a better life.

Overall this was a really enjoyable read, and it was great to read stories from Philippa Gregory that weren't so focussed on the past - particularly on Tudor times!

Rating 4/5

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