Book Review: Men, Money & Chocolate – Menna Van Praag

August 11th, 2017

What’s your reaction to the phrase “Men, Money and Chocolate”?

I admit, seeing “Men Money and Chocolate” as a book title left me a little cold.  It conjured up memories of frothy, sugary, clichéd, poor quality chick lit and didn’t exactly fill me with confidence that this book would deliver (I mean on the self-help front, not literally deliver men, money and chocolate…. although of course uh… no, I digress.)  Well, as we know, first impressions are not always right and, to my delight, that’s certainly I found that to be the case with Meena Van Praag’s novel.

The cover promises a “sweet and touching fable about love, courage and enlightenment” and that’s exactly what it is.  Yes, the sentences are short and the plot thin, with self-discovery at a rate that feels implausible, but it’s that simplicity that delivers the author’s message with a clarity borne from the beautiful heartfelt honesty of joyful discovery.

Men, Money and Chocolate charts the journey of Maya from unfulfilled single, chocolate-loving, reluctant coffee shop owner to a joyful spirit at breakneck speed.  But the lessons are simple: take a chance, stop and listen to the wisdom of others’ messages, embrace conversation, love yourself, be open to others.  Follow these simple honest messages and watch the magic unfold!

Maya’s encounter with Rose, a wise old lady who visits the coffee shop, is written beautifully, with humour, sensitivity and an intensity that draws you into their connection.  Maya’s raw emotional response to their conversation is so real and unhindered you can’t help but know this is the turning point for her story.  However, it’s not all plain sailing once Maya has taken Rose’s advice, and what I liked most about the book was how we see Maya’s resilience grow by focusing on treating herself with growing kindness as she meets various challenges and set-backs.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something different to a traditional self-help read; something with a feel-good factor as well as wisdom and soul.

31454499 - four star rating on blackboard with white chalk

Men, Money & Chocolate by Menna Van Praag is available now! Get your copy here.

With thanks to Helen Longland for the review.