Series: Chocolat #1
Author(s): Joanne Harris
No. of pages: 368
Genre: Romance, Magical Realism
Publication date: March 4th 1999
Date read: August 27th 2018
When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial. The priest says she’ll be out of business by Easter.
To make matters worse, Vianne does not go to church and has a penchant for superstition. Like her mother, she can read Tarot cards. But she begins to win over customers with her smiles, her intuition for everyone’s favourites, and her delightful confections. Her shop provides a place, too, for secrets to be whispered, grievances aired. She begins to shake up the rigid morality of the community. Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?
For the first time, here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as an agent of transformation. Rich, clever, and mischievous, reminiscent of a folk tale or fable, this is a triumphant read with a memorable character at its heart.
This book had been on my TBR for quite a long time, but now that I finally read it I can safely say that I’ve found a new favourite. I absolutely loved reading Chocolat and although it contained some magical elements, it was still so very realistic!
I loved Harris’s descriptions of the characters, surroundings and of course the chocolate. While reading it, it felt like I gained at least 10 kgs from only reading about chocolate. I could just almost smell and taste it – it definitely made me crave those delicious hot chocolate drinks! Besides the chocolate the characters were all very well thought through, and I came to love them all. And those that I didn’t end up loving, were still characters I was very curious about and wanted to read more about!
As a child, me and my family went on holiday to small French villages a lot and, in my opinion, this book just described it perfectly. The small old houses, the squares, the flowers, the nature and the small shops with their breads and sweets. All I want to do now is hop into the car and drive to France!
This book is the first one in a trilogy and I can’t wait to read the second book and get to know more about all the characters and their lives! And of course, the film with bae Johnny Depp is also waiting for me 😏