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Chocolat (Chocolat, #1)
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April 2018: Strong Women > Chocolat by Joanne Harris

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ShazM | 389 comments A mysterious woman and her young daughter arrive in a small village in France and open a Chocolaterie opposite the church. Immediately the village dynamic begins to change until it is all out war between the church, in the form of Father Reynaud, and Vianne, the purveyor of sinful pleasure.

I really enjoyed this book. There was a fine balance between the descriptions of life in the village, the thoughts of the main protagonists and enough action to keep things moving. One of the things I dislike about books which switch between the points of view of different characters is the time it can take to work out who's thoughts you are reading. In this case there was no difficulty at all and there was so much tension in the passages detailing Father Reynaud's innermost feelings that I was drawn to keep reading.

I felt that the ending was a little rushed and I'm not sure if I will go on to read the sequel, The Lollipop Shoes, because I was a little disappointed in Vianne's behaviour towards the end. I suppose it's natural to feel uncomfortable when the good guy also shows feet of clay and I expect it was necessary for the next book.

Vianne's strength was, I suppose, the same as that of any single parent struggling to do the right thing for their child with the added complication of a difficult childhood of her own. Her seeming gentleness clearly covers a strong will and determination in the face of societal pressure.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Great review!

I found this book to be charming (even though normally I don't like any hints of magic in my reads), and I agree with your assessment of Vianne. I actually didn't realize there was a sequel, but like you, I probably will never get around to that . . .

message 3: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I have not read this book, but the movie is one of my favorites!

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6381 comments I really liked this one as well. Love the scene where Father R is in the shop window!

message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9334 comments I love this one! It may have been one of the first books I ever reviewed! At the time five stars for me. And that was long before the movie ever came out.

message 6: by Hilde (new) - added it

Hilde (hilded) | 433 comments I also loved the movie:) I read the book years ago, but I remember the movie much clearer than the book. Maybe I should read the sequel one day.

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