Vincent Desjardins's Reviews > Chocolat

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
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Jan 25, 10

bookshelves: literary-fiction

A warm February wind brings a stranger and her daughter to the small French town of Lansquenet. The stranger is Vianne Rocher who in no time opens a chocolate shop across from the local Catholic Church. This infuriates Father Reynaud who is positive that Vianne has done this intentionally to lead his parishoners into temptation and to make them break their Lenten fasts. Vianne’s presence and friendship does shake up the sleepy little town, but in ways that not even the fanatical priest can predict. This is a delectable tale, filled with great characters - all of whom seem to have secrets. A marvelous story about the power that comes from striving for happiness, rather than focusing on another’s faults and differences. One of those rare books that I was sorry to see come to an end. By the way, though I thought the movie was cute, it was drained of much of the satirical bite that Harris created in the novel. The movie changed the character of the priest into a mayor which took away all of the commentary on the church's intolerance to those who are different. So if you like the movie, the book is even better.
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