Chocolat is such an entrancing, sensual read. The descriptions of food, Parisian village life and the characters are so richly drawn that you will feel as if you are right there and part of the experience.
Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk blow into the small village of Lansquenet and promptly set up a chocolatier directly opposite the Church. What's more it is Lent and she opens on a Sunday! Monsier Reynaud, the parish priest, can scarcely believe her audacity. He simply does not understand and believes a quiet word will quickly sort out the issue. But Vianne knows her mind and will not be swayed.
Harris alternates the narrative between these two strong-willed protagonists clearly providing us with their starkly contrasting approach to life. Vianne is a vivacious, tolerant, and intuitively loving free-spirit. Reynaud is a guilt ridden, rancorous dogmatic who rules the village, sometimes employing questionable means.
And so we are bought to the central premise: what constitutes Christian behaviour?
Secondary to this, Harris asks us to question Vianne's `gift'. Does she employ magic to bewitch the townsfolk? Or is the `magic' simply Vianne's generous loving nature that beguiles them (and us), inspiring and supporting change?
The book is slow to start but just like the townsfolk entering Vianne's chocolatier, we see the promise and come under the books hypnotic charms.
And just one more point - the book is infinitely better than the movie!
Enjoy and savour (with a chocolate or two......)!
An addictive read haunting,obsessive, and just a little nutty, like a freshly made praline. - Elisabeth Luard, author of Family LifeA celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance. - ObserverSamantha Bond is perfectly cast as Vianne: her voice is smooth and luxurious. But Gareth Armstrong steals the show as the priest who turns increasingly to his faith and in so doing loses touch with reality. - Observer
Now available on CD, the Whitbread-nominated bestselling novel about convention, conflict and confectionary.