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Chocolat

(Chocolat #1)

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  120,410 ratings  ·  4,742 reviews
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 everywhere.

Illuminating Peter Mayle's South of France with a touch of Laura Esquivel's magic realism, Chocolat is a timeless novel of a strai
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Paperback, 306 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published March 4th 1999)
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Kirby I picked the one w/ the cover I have on purpose because it isn't the movie cover. I have the pretty blue color w/ the 3 golden eggs in a nest on the c…moreI picked the one w/ the cover I have on purpose because it isn't the movie cover. I have the pretty blue color w/ the 3 golden eggs in a nest on the cover. Not a fan of movie tie-ins.(less)
Jana It's not that much about romance. It's much more about tolerance between people, finding happiness in life, about death, loosing someone close to you …moreIt's not that much about romance. It's much more about tolerance between people, finding happiness in life, about death, loosing someone close to you and letting go... It's also about catholic vs pegan religion and how it affects your life. There is only one remotly erotic scene which is very decent and nonexplicit if you're concerned about that. (less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Chocolat (Chocolat, #1), Joanne Harris

Chocolat 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 Céleste 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 comb
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Charlotte May
This wasn’t really my cup of tea. Think I’ll stick to Joanne Harris’ thrillers in future.

It was ok. That pretty much sums up my feelings toward this book. There were parts I liked - mainly the side characters like Armande, and her grandson Luc. I liked Josephine and her storyline.

I didn’t particularly like either of the main characters and there was so much pettiness that is just wasn’t enjoyable and i found myself rushing just to finish.

Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk have just moved to
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Madeline
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Candi
"Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, two hundred souls at most, no more 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 land."

Magical and scrumptious, Chocolat is a thrilling delight for the senses. When Vianne R
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Will Byrnes
Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 impu ...more
Resh (The Book Satchel)
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 ...more
Dem
Aug 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Having read and loved Five Quarters of the Orange Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris 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 tha
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Bethany
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 more 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 ha
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Julie G (time traveling for a week)
Yes, you are stuck: Juliette Binoche is Vianne Rocher, and you can't work your way around it, unless you've spent the past two decades under a rock. But, let's face it, she was at least appropriately cast, and you'll get through it.

Beyond that, it turns out this novel is like a refreshing and delicious wind that blows in your direction right when you need it.

And, naturally, by the end of the novel, you're ransacking your kitchen for chocolate.
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Beth
Chocolat is a contemporary novel with a few fantasy elements. I really liked the setting, which is one of most beautiful and immersive settings I've read about lately. This is the second time I have read the book. It was worth rereading, but not amazing enough for me to read it a third time, most likely.

The beginning:
We came on the wind of the carnival. A warm wind for February, laden with the hot greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hot plate ri
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Cherie
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 more 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 o ...more
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“Why can no one here think of anything but chocolates?”
― Joanne Harris, Chocolat


This book will be sure to make you crave some chocolate..or..baked goods at least. So have your appetite ready.

Seriously, we all know the plot so no plot review on this one. I adored the book AND the film. I fell in love with the charming and quaint little village and wanted very much to live there. (And have some of their chocolate.) I think I liked the movie a wee bit more but that is only because this book is so
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Jennifer
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2002, fiction, chicklit
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 more 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
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Becky
Apr 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I did not like this book. I didn't think the author developed the characters well enough that I could even tell them apart by half-way through. There was not enough for me to develop emphathy for anyone in the book except the guy with the little, old dog.

I also have a problem with an author being so blatant about the axe they have to grind with any particular group. I thought the book was anti-religious and anti-Catholic, specifically. I am not of the thought or feeling that anyone has to be rel
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PurplyCookie
"I believe that being happy is the only important thing. Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or torturous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive."

If you've watched the movie from a few years back and you've only decided just now to pick up the book where the movie was based on, prepare to be surprised (although in what way exactly, I leave it to you). I can hardly believe that a novel so richly packed with meaning could be so relatively short. Harris' prose here is at its finest, as we follow
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Baba
Nomadic single mother Vianne Rocher, comes to the small French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and opens up a sumptuously described chocolaterie during Lent, oh... and she might or might not be a witch! Her chocolaterie and presence in the village really upsets priest Francis Reynaud, and his supporters. Harris builds the suspense up to an inevitable confrontation.

Harris writing really captures this French village and the chocolaterie so well at the start of this, so well indeed, that for me t
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Devlin Scott
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I dare anyone to read this novel and not hunger for something sweet.

This is a wonderful tale of family and magic and hope. It is not your typical romance and well worth the time. You may find yourself wishing for a confection or two...before you've finished reading.


Devlin
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Amanda
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much chocolate (in liquid form) was consumed during the reading of this book.
Chris
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. One of my comments I made as I got into it was that it was a book that I could sink into and that feeling continued throughout my read. It was a story of substance with a touch of magical realism. The "winds" bring Vianne Rocher & her daughter to a tight small French community whose lives revolve around the church. Their insulated lives makes them suspicious of others especially those who did not adhere to the teachings of the church or participate in the services. The story e ...more
Janelle
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
A small French village is changed from its conservative, anti outsider(particularly Gypsies in houseboats) by the arrival of a woman (Vianne) and her daughter who open a chocolate shop. Themes of acceptance, ageing, death and domestic violence. Told mostly from the point of view of Vianne, some chapters are from the priest Reynaud, who sees Vianne as a threat to the town. So while this book on the surface is a pleasant read (so much chocolate!) it has much darker undercurrents both in the towns ...more
Leila
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remembered that I did read this book a long time ago and cannot remember the actual date. I am not re-reading it.
Debbie Zapata
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020printbooks
I saw the movie years ago before I read the book, which also first happened years ago. This is my first GR-era reading, though, and it was triggered by hearing my husband tell me about seeing the movie playing on a cable channel he gets. He thought it looked interesting so he settled down to watch, but promptly fell asleep. This is nothing new, but without me there to keep nudging him awake he missed the movie.

After I teased him enough about that, I told him how I had the book and its sequel an
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maryamongstories
I love this book for showing how human compassion, kindness and empathy can save someone's life - sometimes, all it takes is a hot chocolate and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. A beautiful, beautiful story. ...more
Marina
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star, own, favorite
Chocolat was exactly the kind of novel I needed at the moment. I discarded books left and right, I was in the mood for something literary and after re-watching the movie - I settled on this one. I decided to savor it as one would a piece of chocolate, slowly, letting it melt into my mouth so that I could absorb the flavor better.

The book is similar to the movie and yet very different - surprisingly I like both in their own way. It was a beautiful novel, full of magic, luscious descriptions of ch
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Holly R W
'Chocolat' was a treat to read at the beginning of this holiday season. The story itself concerns a single mother, Vianne Rocher, who comes with her six year old daughter to live in a small French village. She quickly opens a chocolaterie called 'La Celeste Praline' during Lent. Vianne herself is irreligious and gets into conflict with the village's priest, Father Renaud. He is a menacing presence throughout the book.

Vianne is a free spirit whose mother raised her in a most unconventional way.
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Edith Fischer
I liked the style, alternating chapters narrated by the heroine,chocolate shop owner Vianne Rocher, and her nemesis, the village priest. The book creates charming images of creativity and sensitivity on the part of Vianne, contrasted with dark images of guilt and rigidity on the part of the priest. Free spirits versus conforming traditionalists. Love and friendship versus control and manipulation. Color and joie de vivre versus blackness and regret. Hints of deeper mystery in the past.
Terris
Jun 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 4 stars for the story, but an extra star for the writing! The descriptions are beautiful, sensual, and make your mouth water, as Vianne talks about the candies she's making in her chocolate shop. But many of her other descriptions are equally as beautiful, such as the surrounding landscape or the scarf that someone is wearing.

It was a movie that I saw in 2000, and I remember loving it. BUT, as all you readers know, sometimes you just can't beat the actual words as written by the
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Abbie | ab_reads
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Warning: do not read this book if you’re hungry and have no delicious chocolate in the house! Sorry, had to get the practicalities out of the way first before I tell you how amazing and sensuous this book is (and that’s sensuous as in relating or affecting the senses, and not sexually gratifying - although it is a bit saucy at times)
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Chocolat is a wonderfully atmospheric story that’s sprinkled with just a little bit of magic and occasionally hinting at a darker underbelly... Essentially
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Emma
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor
Apr 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Joanne Harris made me long to move to Europe. More fantasizing about small town, rural life. And the descriptions of the chocolate left me dreaming about rose creams, amaretto, pain au chocolat...why is it that these books that leave me hungry and dissatisfied are some of my favorites? Really.

This book is full of luscious sentences, beautiful descriptions, and alluring personalities. It's different from the movie - but both have the same spirit of magical glamor. And both make me need to go get
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Laurel County Pub...: February 2022 4 8 Feb 08, 2022 02:35PM  
2022 Reading Chal...: Chocolat #1 8 37 Apr 27, 2021 06:42AM  
Play Book Tag: Chocolat by Joanne Harris, 4 stars 9 14 Apr 25, 2021 08:48AM  
Play Book Tag: (PBT Decades BINGO) Chocolat by Joanne Harris - 3.5 stars 6 19 Dec 20, 2020 12:00AM  
Is this quote (ish) from Chocolat? 1 6 May 11, 2020 03:06AM  
what did you prefer- the book or the film? 79 476 Oct 26, 2018 10:34PM  
Play Book Tag: Chocolat by Joanne Harris 6 30 Apr 26, 2018 11:57AM  

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Joanne Harris is also known as Joanne M. Harris

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 curr
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Other books in the series

Chocolat (4 books)
  • The Girl with No Shadow (Chocolat, #2)
  • Peaches for Father Francis (Chocolat, #3)
  • The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat, #4)

Articles featuring this book

This year, we've all got more reason than usual to hunker down inside during the coldest months. Thankfully, those teetering WTR stacks can...
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“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” 603 likes
“I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I'm going to be immoderate--and volatile--I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant.” 170 likes
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