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The Strawberry Thief

(Chocolat #4)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,403 ratings  ·  359 reviews
The compelling new novel from the author of the bestselling Chocolat.

Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her 'special' child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Orion
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Jane I have somehow managed to never read Chocolat (or the other two books in the series) but enjoyed this as a standalone novel. It does refer back to…moreI have somehow managed to never read Chocolat (or the other two books in the series) but enjoyed this as a standalone novel. It does refer back to things which happen in the first three stories but they are given a context (without getting too mired in explanations). (less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  2,403 ratings  ·  359 reviews

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Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joanne Harris takes the reader back to Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, and the now accepted chocolatier, Vianne Rocher, continuing to practice her own brand of chocolate magic. How things have changed, even Francis Reynaud, the priest, once her fiercest critic is now a friend. Vianne has lost her summer child, Anouk, to Paris and the man she has fallen in love with. She finds some comfort that her winter child, the special Rosette will never leave her. Rosette doesn't attend school, does not speak, has ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019
It has been a very long time coming but this is apparently the final book in the Chocolat series. It is a beautiful book, right from that gorgeous cover, through the perfectly written text, to the totally satisfying ending.

Considering the fact that these books were written over nearly two decades I am amazed that I am still so familiar with all the characters. Starting the Strawberry Thief I did not have to refer back to earlier books to know who everyone was and how they related to each other.

There's a literary Holocaust-fatigue doing the rounds lately, and for me personally, there's a radical feminist-fatigue thrown in. Oprah got me into it, and Hillary Clinton got me out of it. With a bang. I thank her for it....BIG TIME.

And after reading so many non-fictional books lately, I just couldn't settle in with this blueprint for a political cult going haywire on unsuspecting readers. It's a wonderful thrill for a groupie. It's a bore for independent operators like yours truly.

Lynn Williams
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time there was a book that thought it was a regular story, it wrapped itself up in strangeness and fantasy and grew into a remarkable tale, a fairytale to enchant readers.

The Strawberry Thief was a fantastic read. I absolutely loved it in fact I didn’t want it to finish and I can say, that to those of you looking at this as No.4 in a series and thinking there’s a lot of catching up, well, I can tell you that you don’t have to have read the
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joanne Harris is an enchantress with words. She never fails to enchant me and whenever I finish her wonderful books it is with a deep sign of regret that the book is finished but also with satisfaction that for several hours I have been immersed in a magical world. This is the fourth book in the Chocolat series and every bit as good as it’s predecessors. Some of the characters are old friends who make you feel like you’re donning a favourite pair of old comfortable shoes - perhaps lollipop ...more
Nat K
Apr 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
I bought this at lunchtime! Very exciting ...more

Visit the locations in the novel

What more is there to love than a book by the wonderful writer Joanne Harris, Chocolat and Strawberries! Take all three ingredients, add a dash of Harris magic and you have the wonderful new novel The Strawberry Thief. It's always a treat to revisit a magical place found in a book, even if fictional. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes sounds so real and in a way, I believe it is - it's so well brought to life, evoked in flavour and tastes, that you will honestly feel you are
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many ardent fans of Harris's have been awaiting a new novel from her for quite some time and what a spellbinding read it is. We return to Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to visit protagonist Vianne who has eventually settled in the area. The writing is lyrical and mesmerising and you can't seem to put it down come hell or high water, even when there are chores you need to tend to. The descriptions of the chocolate-making process and the local scenery are beautiful and so vivid you can smell, see, taste ...more
Lynn Horton
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to The Strawberry Thief. I’ve read the other books in the series and love rural France, but this book wasn’t to my taste. I found it slow, and almost self-conscious, as if Harris knew what she was supposed to produce, so ground out the story in a formulaic way. I found it lacking in charm when compared to her previous books.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna Maria Boland
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me back to the world of smells, flavours and colours. It made me listen to the wind. Going back to Vianne’s world was like visiting old friends.
Joanne Harris is one of my favourite writers. The way she’s telling the story is multidimensional, you can smell it, feel it on your skin, see it. I read almost everything she writes. She never disappoints.
Teresa Driscoll
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full of wisdom and wonder, this is an absolute treat for those of us who fell under Chocolat’s spell 20 years ago...
I worry about sequels. I worry about disappointment. But Joanne Harris delivers a magical and beautifully-layered story about letting go. Of the past. Of guilt. And Of the fear of loss.
I was a mother of two young children when I read Chocolat. Now I have an empty nest.
The strawberry Thief is many things but admirers will understand when I say it is full of beautiful birds -
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All the strawberry stars in the wood!

This book was simply fantastic! I loved every single page, highlighted several sections throughout and could literally taste the magic on my tongue. <3 Joanne Harris has such a beautiful and enchanting way with words I felt like I was picking my way through a trove of diamonds! Absolutely exquisite!

Pam Tickner
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
20 years after reading Chocolat, I enjoyed the conclusion to Vianne Rocher's story. The story meandered around, each chapter told by a different character, so for a short time you aren't sure whose voice it is. I didn't enjoy the journey as much as I did the destination.
Jane Watson
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book from Joanne Harris - one of the best in the Chocolate series, along with the first one. Poignant and moving, the story blew through the book on the tail of various winds and was magical and heart-rending in turn. All the main characters have grown and aged and are more prone to worrying and internal angst on the adult side and the complete self-confidence and disregard on the children's side. The story is short but sweet and oh so beautifully written - I just loved it and didn't ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I devoured this in one go, so excited to get this arc and return to a world I loved. I wasn’t disappointed at all. The writing was as good as ever, hard to put the book down. You just fell back into the village and our favourite characters lives again. No spoilers here, but if you loved chocolat and Joanne Harris then pick this up you won’t be disappointed, I wasn’t

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hardback: 360 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Orion
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: There's always a moment before a storm when the wind seems to change its mind.
Favourite Quote: “Sometimes, being told not to do something just makes us want it all the more. Sometimes, a little of what you crave is better than total abstinence.”
Review Quote: Beautifully written, enchanting yet oh-so real (Independent)
Main Characters: Vianne Rocher, Rosette, Reynaud.
The Strawberry Thief returns us to the village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and everyone’s favorite chocolate maker. Vivane’s Anouk is in Paris, but she, Rosette, and Roux are in Lansquenet. And then Rosette inherits some land. This doesn’t sit well with the man’s daughter or entirely with Roux. And there is also the question of the tattoo artist.

It’s an interesting Chocolat novel because you don’t really like Viviane and Roux here. You understand Viviane and her fears, Reynard and his, but Roux
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris is a fantastic read! I absolutely loved this book ~ lived in it for a while and definitely didn't want it to end.

It was easy to get into and delightful to read with many beautiful descriptions of strawberries and chocolate creations.

It was a joy to read in our Winter in Australia where a spicy hot chocolate can sometimes be found in the hand of the reader.

I've read all of Joanne Harris's novels including Chocolat and loved every single one of them.

Sid Nuncius
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m afraid this wasn’t for me. I recognise that it’s a matter of taste and not that it’s a bad book, but I really couldn’t get on with The Strawberry Thief.

Part of the problem may be that I haven’t read any of its predecessors, so picking the story up when it is so far advanced is likely to be difficult, but I also found the style twee and rather cloying. I read as much as I could take, but I gave up as I wasn’t enjoying it at all.

I have given this three stars even though I didn’t like it
Kirsty ❤️
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I think you need to be in a certain frame of mind to read a book. I started to read this a few weeks ago and couldn’t get into it (I was a bit preoccupied with life–related issues) so read an old faithful book instead. Second time around I devoured the whole thing in two sittings (broken only by having to go to work) and am very glad I went back to it. If you’ve read any of the Chocolat series you’ll know the whimsical style. The narrative is always written in such a lovely way, it’s a ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a book! I like it even more than Chocolat, which has been my favourite Lansquenet book up til now. It is wonderful, though the story interspersed throughout is heart rending at times.
It is great to hear Rosettes' voice and despite it being a shame that Anouk and Roux are not particularly in the book, they are far more fleshed out than in Peaches for Monsieur le Cure.
I don't know if Joanne Harris will ever continue her story of Vianne Rocher, but if she doesn't, I feel this is a fitting end
Vanessa Couchman
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I usually enjoy Joanne Harris’ books, but I have to admit that I found this a little disappointing. It was rather repetitive and I didn’t really engage with any of the characters. Quite entertaining, but don’t expect another Chocolat.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this and sighed a contented sigh ... off to read it again now ....
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5* Mystical novel set in Gers, France

It is 20 years since Chocolat by Joanne Harris was published (yes, really!)… and now comes a follow-up with Vianne Rocher, chocolatière extraordinaire once again at the heart of the story. It can quite happily be read as a stand alone but I think it would be a richer experience to read Chocolat and the follow-on novels before picking this one up.

Strawberries, more of the forest than the domestic variety, are the leitmotif throughout the story. They even
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The fourth in the series set in the French village of Lansquenet. All problems seemed to be solved by Vianne's chocolates and her hot chocolate! The descriptions of the food are mouth watering - especially when she makes her hot chcolate!
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am a longtime fan of Joanne Harris' writing, and her latest novel, and THE STRAWBERRY THIEF, is no exception. I am not alone in my admiration, which began with reading her wildly popular 1999 book, CHOCOLAT, which was even made into a decent movie; and in 2013, Harris was awarded a well-deserved MBE by the Queen of England, obviously based on her literary treasures. Over the years I've read most of her other novels and loved them all. I also own her two cookbooks (and have used them!). ...more
Nic  Thorpe
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a nice easy read for anyone who is a fan of Joanne Harris. I was super excited to buy and read this and I did enjoy it. I’m not sure that it really adds anything to the series, I didn’t feel hooked or that mysteries were unveiled, it didn’t even make me want to drink and eat chocolate like the first book did, or drink Blackberry Wine and start foraging as others in the series did. I think if it had come out years ago I would have loved it more. I’m happy I’ve read it, but it didn’t meet ...more
K.L. Loveley
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the moment that I discovered this book was available, it was on my wish list. It is an understatement to say that I was not disappointed. I was also fortunate to attend an evening with Joanne at the village hall in Lowdham Nottinghamshire; where she was promoting the book. Already halfway through reading the continuing story of Vianne Rocher and her life in Lansquenet- sous-Tannes with her 'special child' who throughout the story becomes increasingly more capable than people imagined she ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: august-2019, kindle
I have really enjoyed Joanne Harris'Chocolatseries on the whole, but the final instalment was a little disappointing. At first, I found it rather difficult to differentiate between the different viewpoints used in the novel, and did not find the characters' voices anywhere near as strong or varied as they have been in previous books. Whilst it proved easy to get into after a while,The Strawberry Thiefwas not as page-turning as I expected it to be. There is not much with regard to plot within the ...more
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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 DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre ...more

Other books in the series

Chocolat (4 books)
  • Chocolat (Chocolat, #1)
  • The Girl with No Shadow (Chocolat, #2)
  • Peaches for Father Francis (Chocolat, #3)
“It's too early for strawberries. But the clearing is filled with their leaves and their little white flowers, like fallen stars. The wishing well was covered, too, so that only someone who knew it was there would have really noticed it. It looks like a barrow under the green; somewhere fairies or goblins might live.” 1 likes
“The almond blossom from the tree has gone, to be replaced by new green shoots. It smells of spring, and mown grass, and tilled earth from the fields beyond. Now is the month of Germinal in the Republican calendar: the month of hyacinth, and bees, and violet, and primrose. It is also the windy month; the month of new beginnings, and I have never felt it so strongly as I feel it now: that sense of possibility; that irresistible lightness.” 1 likes
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