Laura Beckman’s comfortable suburban life would be perfect but for her daughter. Four years earlier, Brooke abandoned her husband and her own young daughter to run off with a musician. Now back home with her tail between her legs, Brooke’s self-loathing boils over in the face of her mother’s unrelenting condemnation.
Laura’s world is turned upside down after witnessing the long, painful death of her husband. In the search for a better version of herself, she creates the Chocolate Shop which grants terminally ill patients one last wish (e.g returning to the Rockette stage, having sex one last time, even skydiving). Laura then lovingly helps her clients slip away to a peaceful death. Laura must dodge the police who suspect she's committing second-degree murder, and an ex-wife of a client consumed with collecting on an insurance policy. Her relationship with her daughter flips as Brooke becomes the one doing the condemning: “I may have made many mistakes in my life but there’s one thing I can say. I never murdered anybody.”
As Laura comes to grips with the ethical, moral, and legal dimensions of what she's doing, she worries that her strained relationship with her daughter will never be repaired and wonders whether she can ever find love again. She meets Arlo Massey--brash, flmboyant, someone who couldn't care less about what other people think--the complete opposite of the always appropriate Laura Beckman. Arlo disrupts Laura's already tumultuous life. She finds him despicable.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
The Chocolate Shop is a story that is written with the utmost care, concern, compassion and understanding for those who are watching or have watched a loved one die in torturous pain from cancer or other terminal disease. It's also about providing those terminal patients with a last wish, similar to Make a Wish. It is a very relevant and worthy read about assisted suicide that examines many sides of the issues.
I found this book to touch on the reality that many people face on a daily basis, assisted suicide, mercy killing, whatever you want to call it. We do this for our loving fur babies, but for our human relatives, it is a big no-no in some states. This is a very good thought-provoking story. I would like to thank Net Galley and Booksprout for a free copy of this book. I voluntarily reviewed it.
When readers first meet Laura Beckman, the protagonist in The Chocolate Shop, her husband Mickey is dying. He has been in pain and has pleaded with her to put an end to his suffering. She simply can't do it. After her husband's funeral she and three others make a "pact" that if she decides she doesn't want to live anymore the others will help her end her life. Unexpectedly, one of her group finds out cancer has returned. She wants to die on her terms and enlists the group for help. From this point on, life changes drastically for Laura. There is so much about this book that makes it relevant and worth reading. Laura is a fascinating character in that one episode in her past basically shaped the person she is now. So much so that it created a tense and troubled relationship with her eldest daughter. The well developed supporting cast of characters are unique, interesting and endearing. There are no stereotypes here. The dialogue is both witty and moving. Well crafted, the novel is multilayered, powerful and worthy of attention. The story deals with assisted suicide, end of life choices and the power of relationships whether they are existing or unexpected. The author is a gifted writer. There were times I laughed out loud and times I teared up. I will be thinking about The Chocolate Shop for a long time. Highly recommended
A very touching moving book on death and assisted suicide. I could relate and so invested I wept.. The book seems to have a middle ground and makes one wonder and perhaps change in the way you might handle this situation. Thank you, NetGalley for the advance copy for my review.
I was so moved by this beautiful book. For those of us who have watched our loved ones suffer before dying, this story makes so much sense. J. J. Spring has given us a lot to think about in The Chocolate Shop.
Let me first say that as a nurse, and advocate for "The right to choose", I totally enjoyed this book and love the "Chocolate Shop". I am quite sure there are many who, due to the topic, did not. Read it with an open mind and heart. This novel is about family, love, choice, life, death and dignity. The alternatives that people decide to take when the dying process becomes insufferable are not easy. It is not a decision that comes lightly, and for the people of "The Chocolate Shop" the decision to help these folks was also done with thought, love and hope that "wishes" come true". The characters are enjoyable and easy to care for. The descriptions in this book made me believe I was present for each trip and dream that came true.
A storyline with a difference,Laura battles her choices that she had made when her husband dies,will she get a second chance now by helping people die. This book will raise a lot of issues such as, assisted dying when is it ever correct,issues with her first born,choices she made by putting herself first all these years,so that she can surround herself with trophies and achievement awards,but at what cost to her family. I found the book a bit hard going due to the fact of the assisted death,when is it correct to do it,or is it still murder in the eyes of church,politics and community,a lot of questions posed but very few answers.
This is different Laura feels like she wants a second chance to make up for the hurt she has cause her family by leaving them It's one thing when a man leaves his family but not a woman,especially a mother! Helping people who are sick she finds herself in trouble for doing this in her Chocolate Shop! Finding love a second time to a man she can't stand,will she find it? Characters are jumping at you! Good read but I finished just had a hard time doing it but hey that's just me!