J. J. Spring’s new novel, The Chocolate Shop, raises thought-provoking end-of-life questions including whether, out of love or respect, a terminally ill senior should have a final wish fulfilled.
A middle-aged woman’s comfortable life is turned upside down when she must witness the long lingering death of her husband. Searching for a better version of herself, she creates a service that fulfills the final wishes of terminal seniors—e.g. dancing with the Rockettes, skydiving, having sex—then lovingly helps them end their own lives. Laura must dodge the police who suspect she’s committing second-degree murder, and an ex-wife of a client consumed with collecting on an insurance policy. Her rocky relationship with her prodigal daughter becomes even more tumultuous as the daughter condemns what she’s doing: “You’re not helping these people, you’re holding them up to ridicule. Oh, and I may have made many mistakes in my life but there’s one thing I can say. I never murdered anybody.”