Title: The Chocolate Run
Author: Dorothy Koomson
Release Date: March 25, 2004
Publisher: Little, Brown UK
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Amber Salpone doesn’t mean to keep ending up in bed with her friend Greg Walterson, but she can’t help herself. And every time it ‘just happens’ their secret affair moves closer to being a real relationship, which is a big problem when he’s a womaniser and she’s a commitment-phobe.
While Amber struggles to accept her new feelings for Greg, she also realises that her closeness to Jen, her best friend, is slipping away and the two of them are becoming virtual strangers. Slowly but surely, as the stark truths of all their lives are revealed, Amber has to confront the fact that chocolate can’t cure everything and sometimes running away isn’t an option . . .
Dorothy Koomson appeared on my radar screen a few months ago with the U.S. release of her novel My Best Friend’s Girl [review]. After I read and enjoyed that book, I went back to see what other books of hers I could find. Apparently, she is a prolific writer in the UK, but unfortunately most of her books aren’t available stateside quite yet. I was lucky enough to get a copy of The Chocolate Run through Book Mooch, and I’m glad I made the effort – Koomson is one of those writers that never lets you down.
Dorothy Koomson writes “interracial” literature – that is, the main character in her books is usually a black woman. The books aren’t about racism or being a minority, it’s just a fact of life in the book. I definitely like that approach.
Amber was a great, but very damaged, character. She was constantly running away from things and couldn’t bear to think about the future. After some time, it got kind of frustrating, but there’s always a reason for character flaws. It was really interesting to read about her trying to work through her issues, not for Greg or any of the other characters in the book, but for herself. While Amber always seemed like a strong character, she was very vulnerable and scared underneath. It was nice to see her actually develop into a strong, fully realized woman by the end of the novel.
I hated Amber’s best friend, Jen. The more I read about her, the more I despised her. The funny thing is, I’ve been in Amber’s situation – I’ve had a friend that was horrible to me, and everyone else could see it but me. I think most girls have been in that situation. I liked how Amber ended up realizing what was really going on and how she dealt with the situation. It was extremely satisfying, but not mean or overdone. I always hate it when the “bad” character in a book gets off scot-free.
I’m really glad I tracked down The Chocolate Run. I’ve become a really big fan of Dorothy Koomson’s books; she’s a great writer and her books are wonderful to read. These are the types of books you want to devour, to stay up late finishing, the books you just can’t get enough of. They deal with serious issues, yet they’re never heavy. I’ve read synopses of all her books, and they all sound amazing! Luckily, her books are slowly releasing in the U.S., starting with My Best Friend’s Girl last year and Marshmallows for Breakfast early this year.