Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolat, Joanne Harris

We came on the wind of the carnival. A warm wind for February, laden with the hot greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hot plate right there by the roadside, with the confetti sleeting down collars and cuffs and rolling in the gutters like an idiot antidote to winter. 

Beautiful, unmarried Vianne Rocher sweeps into the small French town of Lansquenet with her six year old daughter Anouk right after the carnival and opens a little chocolate shop. She begins to wreak havoc with the town's Lenten vows. She has an uncanny ability to know customers' troubles and know just what their favorite type of chocolate is and what will help them. She delights the villagers, but enrages Pere Reynaud, the priest. He is convinced that she is a witch, and he vows to stop her from staying.

At first glance, this is just a light book about chocolate, but really it talks about sin vs. guilt. I loved the descriptions of not only the wonderful chocolate, but also the town and the various inhabitants of it. Actually, Vianne is a bit of a witch, I'd say, but the term "witch" always denotes a certain evilness. Vianne is not evil at all. She just wants to help people, and her way of helping people is different than Pere Reynaud's. This book is a perfect example of how chocolate always helps. Well, almost always.

Read Chocolat:
  • if you like chocolate
  • if you like books with French settings
  • if you like books with a little bit of magic
306 pages.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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