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The Chocolate Factory : The new page-turning historical novel from the author of THE LAST OF THE APPLE BLOSSOM and perfect for winter reading - Mary-Lou Stephens

The Chocolate Factory

The new page-turning historical novel from the author of THE LAST OF THE APPLE BLOSSOM and perfect for winter reading

By: Mary-Lou Stephens

Paperback | 31 January 2024

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Love, friendship and dangerous secrets in the early years of Cadbury's Tasmanian factory.

It's 1921, and after years of working for Cadbury's at Bournville, Dorothy Adwell is on her way to a new adventure in the colonies, helping to establish the Firm's new Australian factory. A promotion and a fresh start are just what she needs after the horrors of the Great War and the loss of her beloved husband. During the long sea voyage, she meets Thomas and is immediately drawn to him. The war has left Thomas damaged, both mentally and emotionally, and Dorothy vows to help him - if only he will let her.

Maisie Greenwood is the oldest daughter of a war widow, living on a pittance in the Hobart suburb of the Glebe. Her mother's health is failing, and with two younger siblings depending on her the security of a job at the brand-new Cadbury's factory is a godsend. With Dorothy's mentorship and her budding romance with fellow worker Frank, life begins to look a little sweeter.

Cadbury's competitors have one goal: to steal the recipe for Dairy Milk, the most popular chocolate in the world. But the recipe is kept in a vault and the few who know it are legally bound to never divulge its secret. When chocolate spies target the new factory, Dorothy and Maisie become caught up in their plot. Can they protect the recipe, help those they love and fulfil their own dreams?

A tangled web of ambition and intrigue melts into a tale as delicious and rich as chocolate.

About the Author

Mary-Lou Stephens was born in Tasmania, studied acting at The Victorian College of the Arts and played in bands in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney. Eventually she got a proper job - in radio, where she was a presenter and music director, first with commercial radio and then with the ABC.

She received rave reviews for her memoir Sex, Drugs and Meditation (2013), the true story of how meditation changed her life, saved her job and helped her find a husband. The Australian called her debut novel, The Last of the Apple Blossom (2021), 'an outstanding historical novel about women and the secrets and burdens they carry.'

Mary-Lou has worked and played all over Australia. Now she's travelling the world with her husband, slowly, and writing, mostly.

Photo Credit: Jessica Hinchliffe

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