Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: The Empress of Icecream

Her body belonged to a king.
But who would melt her heart?

I'm just going to say this - if you are going to read a book centered on ice-cream, do it in summer. Reading a book filled with lush descriptions of various frozen desserts, sorbets, sherbets and of course ice-cream while the weather is of a temperature similar to that of a freezer makes for a chilly atmosphere. But that isn't to say I didn't really enjoy it.

Anthony Capella's books all centre on food so it is probably of little surprise to anyone that I'm drawn to them. However I also enjoy how for all bar "The Food of Love" he has set them in detailed, yet not well know (at least to me) historical contexts.

I particularly love a book that has me reaching for Wikipedia to find out more about the real people behind the fictional characters and his latest book "The Empress of Icecream" certainly had that. It is centered around Louise de Keroualle, the famous French mistress of Charles II and a fictional, but based on real people, character of the royal ice-cream maker.

Real historical events are cleverly interwoven with a fiction to make a tale that is not only a great read but an insight into a smart, savvy and highly influential woman who had an amazing impact on the English court. My library categorised it as a romance and love stories to wend their way throughout the book, but I think it has a lot more to offer than just a simple love story. I enjoyed the history, the lessons about ice-cream and England in the time of the Restoration.

I have to say, I think that this is a perfect summer holiday book. Light enough to read while on holiday but with enough substance to keep you engrossed. And of course all those delicious descriptions of ice confections that may just send you visiting the freezer.

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