secrets of the chocolate house

Welcome to the Wilted Rose Book Club Discussion #3 of Secrets of the Chocolate House by Paula Brackston! We are covering chapters 15-21. Use the “Leave a Replay” field to comment!


1- Finally, Xanthe decides to go back in time and complete her mission. She arrives at the chocolate house, and Mistress Flyte is there to welcome her. This woman is like a mentor advising Xanthe on how to deal with Fairfax’s request. Were you surprised to find out that she is a time spinner, too?

2- Marcus, Xanthe’s ex, is still in town stalking her so much that he even attacked her once. He seems still in love with her; he also wants her in his band, but he doesn’t see that she doesn’t care anymore. Do you think he’s got a secondary goal for his insistent presence?

3- Xanthe helps Fairfax succeed in finding the astrolabe. Back in her time, she goes to see Samuel’s tomb. The inscription says: “Here lies the body of Samuel Appleby of Marlborough…Taken into the arms of the Lord, 1648.” So her mission is fulfilled, and Samuel has a good life. Xanthe has improved her skills as a spinner, yet she refuses to be part of it. She desires to return to her happy life and have no more worries about helping someone from the past. Why, if she is the chosen guardian of the spinner book, continues to refuse to commit to being one?

4- What is your overall impression of the book?


1- I was not surprised to learn that Mistress Flyte is a time spinner. She’s shared too much information with Xanthe that it was clear to me that she was one of them. But what does she want to help Xanthe for? From the very beginning, I got the feeling that this woman not only wants to help Xanthe, she wants something more. Time is the only way to tell.

2- Marcus is a harasser that I would fear; he has drug issues, and he even assaulted Xanthe; he’s a dangerous person to keep at a distance. The problem is that he didn’t leave her alone when he had to. And I’m afraid that he will cause her more troubles in the future. He wants her to become his girlfriend again and use her as he did when they lived together.

3- I think that Xanthe needs more time to realize the importance of her role. We’ve seen her developing her spinning skills, and she recognizes that, but she shows fear whenever she needs to spin in time. It might be because having to lie to her mother all the time is very stressful; it might be because she’s a young lady who only wants to rebuild her life after a breakup and a period in jail; whatever the case is, she can’t ignore her mission. She is the chosen one, and she will eventually realize that she has to accept it and commit to it.

4- I am pleased with the second book, and I liked seeing Xanthe reconnecting, even if, briefly, with Samuel. In The Little Shop of Found Things, I was rooting for Xanthe and Samuel, hoping to see him in her life fully, but I had to accept that the story ends differently. It’s nice to see Xanthe in her century, surrounded by good neighbors who have become her friends. The environment brings warmth to the heart. And I feel like I’m there watching her and her friends in the streets and shops of the little town. Who knows where Xanthe will bring her readers next time!

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comment field!

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