Friday, 28 November 2008

Chocolat - Joanne Harris

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin.

Suddenly Vianne's shop-come-cafe means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne's plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a "Church not Chocolate" battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate eclair?

You can also read more about the book here. It also has an interesting piece from the author about how she came to write the book, the inspirations behind it and the motivations behind the main two characters.

Just as I'm told to lose 2 stone in weight I choose this book to read, which has descriptions of foods and tastes so good it sets your mouth watering. Perverse or what? LOL
There's a strongly Pagan theme that runs throughout the book which appealed strongly to me (naturally enough) but there's also so much more in there: a mother's love for her daughter; hypocrisy; love of and enjoyment in life; magic; friendship; facing your demons; human nature at it's worst.... and best and much more - all mixed together with a wonderful descriptive style that helps you to visualise the people and the area and which also helps to lighten some of the slightly dark aspects in the book.

A fascinating read and now I've read the book I'd like to see the film, to see how faithfully they've stuck to the original concepts and if they've done it justice... or not. :0)

This is registered with Book Crossing and has now been released into the wild. :0)


Julie said...

YAY another i know about, we've got the DVD of this too. Johnny Depp and chocolate.... what could be better.
Big thumbs up Karan, i love this one.

Karan said...

Had no idea Johnny Depp was in the film - definitely need to watch that now. LOL
Have you read any of her other books?

Julie said...

No Karan i haven't read her other books, have you?

Karan said...

I haven't Julie - I was going to ask what you thought if you had. LOL She's another author to go on my list for further books to read. :0)