“Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher’s daughter, has escaped death twice–first on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability, she can churn cream into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.
Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund is desired by all. But Emmeline wants only one–Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances tempt her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. Others, however, will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains, no matter what the cost to Emmeline.
Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all.”
Sometimes I copy the synopsis right from the dust jacket (or the authors website which you can find here and by clicking the image above) because there’s just no better way to succinctly summarize the perfection that is the novel. I could wax poetic about the story of Emmeline Thistle who overcomes challenges without hesitation, who is a bit naïve but pure and good. I could prattle on tales about Owen Oak’s bravery and compassion. I could whip up prose about Griffin Boar and his own journey. I could angrily script about the injustices of a class system. But, the dust jacket did a perfect job of keeping me in line so there you have it.
Though I said I wouldn’t prattle on you may have gathered from my tangent above that I am very in love with this book. You may also know from reading my gushing exclamations about Mad Love, Saving Juliet and Coffeehouse Angel that I do indeed tend to love anything Selfors produces. This book however is by far her strongest work. The characters were fuller, the story was fanciful and riveting. It was the kind of book where you go “oh just one more chapter” and then suddenly it’s midnight and the book is over. I do have a tendency to binge read my books but this book really did flow seamlessly from beginning to end: perfect, complete story telling. I love the way she always blends magic into seemingly ordinary things; and I loved that this one felt like a fairy tale. Sweetest Spell was set in a time of Kings, Queens, curses, knights, so the whole magic element was beautifully crafted through a fantasy storyline that was completely submerges you into this world and these characters. Unlike the others where magic is thrust upon a modern world (which is wonderful in its own right) the slight change in setting really bring out the romanticism and fantasy of magic.
I could probably talk all day about how strong Emmeline is and how inspiring of a character she is. Or how heroic Owen is, with his charm and wit. Or Beau! Who defies all things and comes into his own. Griffin who struggles and flourishes in his own way. Lara, Peddler, Nan, Henry, every single person in this book is there with purpose but not wooden or boring or plot devises. The book is really just perfectly packaged!
I’m going to stop talking about it so you can go read it.