Chocolat
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Chocolat

By (author) Joanne Harris

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When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

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  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129.54 x 193.04 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • 02 Mar 2000
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London
  • English
  • 0552998486
  • 9780552998482
  • 8,789

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Author Information

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a Doctor Who novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game Zombies, Run!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television. In 2000, her 1999 novel Chocolat was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.

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Review quote

"Mouthwatering ... a feelgood book of the first order ... your senses are left reeling. Read it" Observer "Is this the best book ever written? Truly excellent ... Harris's achievement is not only in her story, in her insight and humour and the wonderful picture of small-town life in rural France, but also in her writing" Literary Review "Sensuous and thought-provoking ... subtle and brilliant" Daily Telegraph "A celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance" Observer "An addictive read ... haunting, obsessive and just a little nutty, like a freshly made praline" -- Elisabeth Luard, author of "Family Life"

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Review text

A first novel that rather cloyingly describes the transformations that overtake the residents of a small French village when a mysterious stranger and her daughter arrive and open a chocolate shop. The townspeople of Lansquenet live in the present day, but the patterns of their lives were established long before they were born - and change very little from year to year. A hamlet straight out of Flaubert, Lansquenet is filled with busybodies who have nothing better to do with their days than spy on one another, until two new arrivals provide fresh grist for the mill. What inspired Vivianne Rocher to move to Lansquenet with her daughter Anouk and to open a chocolate boutique is never explained, but her effect on the populace is profound and immediate: the grim little town and its sniping inhabitants are transformed through the magic of Vivianne's confections into an almost surreal assembly of sensualists, each somehow discovering in bonbons the key to happiness. Elderly crones find themselves remembering long-forgotten loves; shy young couples work up the nerve to break the ice. Is this all the result of only chocolate? Or is some more sinister force at work? The local priest suspects the worst, and his suspicions are reinforced by his awareness that Vivianne opened her shop on Shrove Tuesday - and thus has been tempting the entire parish from its Lenten austerities for the past six weeks. Now, she has even announced plans for a "Chocolate Festival" to take place on Easter Sunday itself! Horrified, he hatches a plan to foil her festivities, but God does not always side with the just. Who will win the soul of the town? Premise, prose, and pace all march along capably, but they fail nevertheless to raise the whole above the debilities of heavy symbolism and excruciatingly precious plot. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Back cover copy

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

show more

Customer reviews

Love......

I have read this book 3 times to date, i just love this book.... my chocolate intake defiantly increases when i read this book ha ha. Its such a beautiful, easy, can't put this book down read... a real fairy tale that lets your imagination run wild ;)show more
by sarah conte

brilliant!

"I loved this book and found it easy to read. It was exciting and a real page turner. It had me hooked from start to finish. The characters are loveable, especially Armande. As I begun the book and got through it, I found myself falling in love with the characters, and I found that lots of detail had been given to them and the town etc, so much that I felt I was there with them as I read the book. I also found that I could identify with Vianne, and this helped me to feel close to her. But my favourite character of the book has to be Armande and did I cry! My Verdict: Wonderful!"show more
by a Book Depository customer