All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Scandalous Life Of Sasha Torte by Lesley Truffle

on January 23, 2017

scandalous-life-of-sasha-torteThe Scandalous Life Of Sasha Torte
Lesley Truffle
Harper Collins AUS
2017, 413p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

In the winter of 1912 on the wild West Coast of Tasmania, Wolfftown’s most notorious heiress and murderess, Sasha Torte, tells the tale of her own spectacular downfall.

Forsaken by her parents and raised by criminals and reprobates, Sasha becomes a world-famous pastry chef at the tender age of seventeen. Entanglement with the disreputable Dasher brothers leads to love, but also to a dangerous addiction.

Behind bars in Wolfftown’s gaol, Sasha sips premium champagne as she recalls a life of seduction, betrayal, ghosts, opium and an indiscreet quantity of confectionary – and plots her escape.

The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte: revenge, redemption and pastry, is a novel of dastardly deeds, intrepid protagonists, dark villains, wild gangs, luxurious hotels … and murder.

Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start here because this book was so many things I’m not sure which to talk about first. It begins in 1912 with the protagonist, Sasha now 22 years of age, in gaol on Tasmania’s west coast. She’s writing her memoirs and in these will take the reader back through the events that shaped her life and how it came to be that she is where she is.

What follows is a fantastical, unconventional story revolving around the character of Sasha and her eclectic band of family and friends. From a young age she was raised differently. Her parents had a volatile relationship that led to the disappearance of her mother and the death of her father when she was still a young child. Her paternal grandfather brought her aunt back from Europe to raise her but neither of those were particularly conventional either and Sasha’s education and upbringing was interesting. She becomes a celebrated pastry chef whilst still a teenager and opens her own shop selling beautiful sweet treats.

Sasha is a frank and unflinching narrator, taking no pains to hide anything at all, even some of her darkest moments. She offers up a stark look at life but manages to retain a sense of humour and positive outlook despite the numerous things that happen to her, culminating with her imprisonment for murder. I greatly enjoyed her life story and the way in which she examined people and moments that had shaped her. Her love for her aunt and her grandfather shines through every time they are on the page, as does her later affection for her employees.

Sasha’s life is also shaped by two brothers….one that wants her at any cost and isn’t afraid to stoop to terrible lows. The two brothers offer Sasha two sides of a coin… with her highest highs and a deep love and the other with terrible lows and an addiction. You’re clearly supposed to regard one of them as a villain (rightly so, he’s a deplorable character) but if I’m honest I didn’t really like the other brother either. He makes an awful impression and I never really felt as though he did much to redeem himself. He was interesting but not particularly appealing to me.

This book is quite a rollercoaster, with a lot of uplifting and fun moments tempered by some tragic ones. Sasha is a person of remarkable resilience….no matter what happens to her or the people around her, she rolls on. She seems to be the sort of person that inspires loyalty and affection and is in turn, generous to those within her circle.

This book contains so many different elements that it’s possible it has a little something for everyone…’s historical fiction with elements of mystery, crime, the supernatural, romance and a lot of quirk. I found it an absolutely fascinating read, one of those books that you pick up to just read a few chapters to get the lay of the land and when you look up it’s three hours later and you’ve finished it. I can’t say that I loved every component of it but put together they certainly made an intriguing story with a uniqueness that’s very appealing. Fans of Truffle’s previous work will probably enjoy the cameo the Hotel du Barry makes here. I haven’t read that one but I have added it to my wishlist after reading this because I definitely want to explore more of Truffle’s work.


Book #8 of 2017

Thanks to the fabulous people at Harper Collins Australia, I have one copy of The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte to give away. This is open to Australian residents only and entries will close on the 1st February 2017. Simply fill in the form below to enter. Winners will be contacted on the 2nd February and given 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, I reserve the right to draw another winner.


The Scandalous Life Of Sasha Torte is the 3rd novel read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

One response to “Review: The Scandalous Life Of Sasha Torte by Lesley Truffle

  1. […] something else a little different, Bree @1girl2manybooks reviewed The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte by Lesley Truffle. This book contains so many […]

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