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Chocolat Chocolat, 1 , Joanne HarrisChocolat is a 1999 novel by Joanne Harris It tells the story of Vianne Rocher, a young single mother, who arrives in the French village of Lansquenet sous Tannes at the beginning of Lent with her six year old daughter, Anouk Vianne has arrived to open a chocolaterie La C leste Praline, which is on the square opposite the church During the traditional season of fasting and self denial she gently changes the lives of the villagers who visit her with a combination of sympathy, subversion and a little magic 2009 1380 406 9645757207 20 1381 368 9646664016 1381 Chocolate, crazy fun old ladies, Bible thumpers learning to lighten up, French people, witchcraft, and sexy gypsies Come on, say no to any of those things I dare you. Lansquenet sous Tannes, two hundred souls at most, no than a blip on the fast road between Toulouse and Bordeaux Blink once, and it s gone One main street, a double row of dun colored half timbered houses leaning secretively together, a few laterals running parallel like the tines of a bent fork A church, aggressively whitewashed, in a square of little shops Farms scattered across the watchful landMagical and scrumptious, Chocolat is a thrilling delight for the senses When Vianne Rocher and her imaginative daughter, Anouk, establish themselves and their chocolaterie in the small, French Catholic town of Lansquenet, they are met with guarded curiosity and veiled hostility As Vianne slowly begins to attract the townspeople with her winning combination of tantalizing chocolate creations and her warm friendship and unprejudiced acceptance, she sparks the wrath of the self righteous and judgmental priest, P re Reynaud Determined to rid the town of both the river gypsies as well as the influence of Vianne Rocher, P re Reynaud readies himself and his church for the battle between what he considers good versus evil But, there is something quite incongruous and disturbing in his convictions He loathes the members of his congregationSheep are not the docile, pleasant creatures of the pastoral idyll Any countryman will tell you that They are sly, occasionally vicious, pathologically stupidHe is arrogant and overly confidentWhen Vianne Rocher sees the power of the church my influence over every single soul in the community then she will know she has lostCan Vianne and P re Reynaud exist side by side in this small community The story alternates between the first person narration of Vianne and P re Reynaud, allowing the reader to become quite intimate with the innermost thoughts of these complex characters With vivid imagery, an entertaining and eccentric cast of secondary characters, and an engaging storyline, author Joanne Harris has created a novel which satisfies not only your senses, but also your intellect Don t let the backdrop of exquisite chocolates and other heavenly concoctions fool you into thinking there is nothing to this novel With its underlying themes of moral perplexities, Chocolat contains than meets the eye Note to potential reader Prior to opening the pages of this book, I highly recommend that you indulge and stock up on a plentiful supply of superior chocolates to be consumed while reading A last minute search for a leftover Hershey bar or chocolate kiss will leave you a bit disappointed. When Vianne Roche blows into Lansquenet Sous Tannes, a sleepy French town, on the tail of carnival she brings with her a touch of witchcraft and huge gobs of humanity Accompanied by her daughter, Anouk, her imaginary pet rabbit, and a wealth of knowledge not only of how to make the finest confections, but how to see into people s souls, she is destined to stir things up The darkness to her light is the local priest, Francis Reynaud, who makes it his business to try to rid the town of this impure non believer, and spoil her planned chocolate festival Vianne s humanity proves decisive for many in the town, Josephine, who finds the strength to leave her abusive spouse Gaillume eventually learns to let his sick dog Charley move on Vianne befriends Amande, an elder practitioner of Vianne s arts, who welcomes the travelers when they arrive and are rejected by the bigots of the town She is less successful with the dark Muscat, wife beater and perpetrator of even darker crimes Most chapters tell Vianne s story, but some are told through the eyes of Reynaud, as he speaks of his fear, desires and crimes to his comatose predecessor This is a clear battle between the warmth of a secular or at least non Christian humanity against the cold disapproval of the church Harris has made her demons quite dark, but allows a glimmer of humanity to peep through We have a sense, at least, of why they may have fallen so far from the path of truth Vianne is sometimes a bit too quick to judge, and if she does indeed become aware of that the fact that the author allows her a flaw or two adds to her humanity The book was engaging, magical, both literally in its subject matter and in the beauty of its telling Joanne Harris can be found at her site ( DOWNLOAD E-PUB ) ♶ Chocolat ☳ A Timeless Novel Of A Straitlaced Village S Awakening To Joy And Sensuality Every Page Offers A Description Of Chocolate To Melt In The Mouths Of Chocoholics, Francophiles, Armchair Gourmets, Cookbook Readers, And Lovers Of Passion EverywhereIlluminating Peter Mayle S South Of France With A Touch Of Laura Esquivel S Magic Realism, Chocolat Is A Timeless Novel Of A Straitlaced Village S Awakening To Joy And Sensuality In Tiny Lansquenet, Where Nothing Much Has Changed In A Hundred Years, Beautiful Newcomer Vianne Rocher And Her Exquisite Chocolate Shop Arrive And Instantly Begin To Play Havoc With Lenten Vows Each Box Of Luscious Bonbons Comes With A Free Gift Vianne S Uncanny Perception Of Its Buyer S Private Discontents And A Clever, Caring Cure For Them Is She A Witch Soon The Parish No Longer Cares, As It Abandons Itself To Temptation, Happiness, And A Dramatic Face Off Between Easter Solemnity And The Pagan Gaiety Of A Chocolate Festival Chocolat S Every Page Offers A Description Of Chocolate To Melt In The Mouths Of Chocoholics, Francophiles, Armchair Gourmets, Cookbook Readers, And Lovers Of Passion Everywhere It S A Must For Anyone Who Craves An Escapist Read, And Is A Bewitching Gift For Any Holiday Let me start this review by saying I have never seen the film version of Chocolat Therefore, I started reading this with no preconceived notions Well, no than usual, anyway I liked Chocolat but there were several glaring annoyances that ruined it for me.I did not appreciate the chocolate lovers vs churchgoers plot Casting a priest in the role of the villain irritated me I echo the others who say this is overdone Even so, I think the priest could have been redeemed If only he had worked through his guilt and developed a good sense of humour and humility But, nooo that would never do Because religious figures can never have true faith rolls eyes And the most unforgivable sin I never really felt anything for the characters No love or sympathy Except maybe Guillaume I liked him.Also, the moral of this book seemed to be Indulge yourself Do what feels right Even if you consequently die get pregnant shame yourself forever Yeah I m not really digging that moral.Yet, I could not dislike this book It was strangely addicting Reading it was like eating a confection you know is not very good when compared with something of a higher calibre, but you keep mindlessly eating it anyway though you re not sure why.Oh Which reminds me Don t read this book if you re on a diet I literally craved chocolate the entire time I was reading. Having read and loved Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris, I was really looking forward to reading Chocolat Unfortunalty this particular book just didnt suit me.I didn t enjoy the plot of the novel and the found the characters underdeveloped and no sense of time and place I rarly rate a novel 1 star but I found nothing in this stroy to to keep me entertained and I felt like I was reading each chapter over and over I did finish the book as I was waiting for something to happen that would redeem the novel but butI by the end I was left feeling very disappointed Many of my friends have loved this book but it just didnt work for me. Like so many people I read the book after I saw the movie I can see why people would be upset with the book after seeing the movie the book is a different story in many ways I think the tone of the book threw me off than anything I have to say I really enjoyed both the book and the movie I think it is rare to read a book and have it be almost verbatim what you experience in the movie The Princess Bride is the only exception I can think of off the top of my head so if I like a movie well enough to read the book I almost always have to take a deep breath and hope that the experience I had with the movie is not destroyed by the book So to be able to walk away from the book and think that I would read by Joanne Harris is a good thing. I enjoyed reading this book very much A little bit of magic, good people, bad people, gypsies, little songs in French, an imaginary friend, love, loss, mystery and chocolate drink than I could have imagined The names of the candies made my mouth water The story made me laugh at things a little girl can say it made me cry over an old man and his old dog It made me think about what it means to hear someone say that they had lived a good life and how they wanted that life to end on their own terms.I loved the little French town, Lansquenet sous Tannes, that Vianne and her daughter Anouk found themselves in after the carnival was over She was there to open a little candy shop She called it La Celeste Praline Chocolaterie Artisanale.There are two first person narrators of this story One is Vianne and the other is the priest, Monsieur Renynauld Vianne tells the story to us, the reader, and the Monsieur tells his to someone called only mon pere I liked it It added a mystery to the story, that slowly unfolded.It was a good story A struggle between good and evil in a tiny little villiage that did not take well to outsiders.This was the first book that I have read by Joanne Harris I am looking forward to reading many. I loved the read I had read the book as a child from the local library and now picking it up after many many years was a pure joy I loved Lansquenet, the characters, the lovely prose everything Basically the story looms around chocolates being an indulgence and a sin and the local priest seeing Vianne and her chocolate shop as the evil that has come to break the lent and prayers of the townsfolk The descriptions will make you yearn for chocolates and hot chocolate drinks That s a guarantee because I don t even love chocolates that much I had unbearable cravings.Strengths Atmospheric you might want to bathe in chocolates Magical oh, Lovely Strong characters all of them touched my heart They were written to perfection Themes of religion, superstition, prejudice towards gypsies, the idea of Home to those who are always on the run etcI had forgotten how the book was and the movie had imprinted itself in my thoughts I didn t know or rather remember both the stories were different OH MY GOd WHYYY I kept screaming in my head, Joanne, follow the movie FOLLOW the movie But yeah, nothing happened Don t get me wrong I loved the book But the movie executed it best I kept reading searching for A s party because it is one of the BEST scenes in the movie Ah It isn t there in the book Roux I refuse to believe that the gypsy s story turns out the way it does in the book Movie please The book is good, the movie is good too And the movie is better than the book You might say the book is realistic, but why don t we have happy endings over warm chocolate drinks Doesn t that sound better Blog Instagram Twitter Facebook