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Chocolat
Chocolat
Author: Joanne Harris
Greeted as "an amazement of riches ... few readers will be able to resist" by The New York Times, Chocolat is an enchanting novel about a small French town turned upside down by the arrival of a bewitching chocolate confectioner, Vianne Rocher, and her spirited young daughter.
ISBN-13: 9780141000183
ISBN-10: 014100018X
Publication Date: 11/1/2000
Pages: 306
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 232

3.9 stars, based on 232 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Chocolat on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a wonderful story. A bit different from the movie version. Although I liked the movie, the differences in story line make more sense in the book version.
reviewed Chocolat on
Helpful Score: 3
This is a slightly mystical story involving chocolate, relationships, and a bit of romance. The author has a unique writing style. I felt like i really knew the characters as the story unfolded. I recommend this book.
reviewed Chocolat on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an entertaining quick read. I make it a point not to compare different art forms (books vs. movies), but I would recommend reading this whether or not you liked the movie.
reviewed Chocolat on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great read, I really enjoyed it. Character-wise, Reynaud stands for everything I dislike about the Catholic religion and I really hated his character in this story: a true villian, bigot, and zealot. I could never wrap my mind around some of the Catholic ideals and concepts--Lent and abstinence, original sin, and the like. Reynaud likes to take the words of the Bible and warp them to his own twisted means.

Vianne is exactly the opposite of Reynaud and stands for everything I believe in and all that is right with the world; her outlook on life closely mirroring my own--except for the parts about fleeing from place to place to escape The Black Man. She was a good mother and a wonderful woman, and I was happy to see the impact she had on many of the people of Lansquenet, giving them strength and courage, and a new love for life.

The premise of the story, a chocolate boutique opened by Vianne in a strictly Catholic village, allows the characters, both major and minor, to examine their beliefs as the priest Reynaud speaks out against the debauchery of the chocolatier. Joanne Harris, the author, is very good at describing things in the best frame of reference, the chocolates, the flowers of springtime, the images brought to mind while reading this book were both beautiful and mouth-watering. And seeing as how it's just past Halloween, and a recent vacation to Key West from which I just returned last week, I happened to find all kinds of chocolate in the house which we usually don't have. I think this book may have caused me to gain a few pounds because with all the reading about chocolate, goodness knows I had to indulge. Heh, at least all the Halloween chocolate is almost gone now... though I miss the Key West fudge and Lindt chocolates. LOL
reviewed Chocolat on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A tasty story! I liked the movie too but the book is a bit different of course. Harris is so descriptive and I especially love the way she relates the sense of smell in her descriptions. A good and quick read.
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reviewed Chocolat on + 55 more book reviews
I loved this book!
reviewed Chocolat on + 948 more book reviews
Beautiful Vivianne Rocher opens a chocolate shop in the small French town of Lansquenet. The people of this isolated little village view her and her daughter with suspicion, especially when she serves her decadent delicacies on Sundays! Located across from the church, she can see the local priest always watching. She thinks of him as the man in black who has haunted her dreams her since childhood.

Vivianne wears bright colors and identifies closely with anyone who comes into her shop, even the "river people" when they park their houseboats on the banks of the local river. Vivianne is carefree, happy and giving to all she meets. Is she a witch as the priest believes or just a sensitive person who strives to help others? The magic of this delightful read may remain your heart for some time. I really liked Chocolat.
reviewed Chocolat on + 25 more book reviews
From the back cover:

"When beautiful, unmarried Vianne Rocher sweeps into the pinched little French town of Lansquenet on the heels of the carnival and opens a gem of a chocolate shop across the square from the church, she begins to wreak havoc with the town's Lenten vows. Her uncanny ability to perceive her customers' private discontents and alleviate them with just the right confection coaxes the villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness, but enrages Pere Reynaud, the local priest. Certain only a witch could stir such sinful indulgence and devise such clever cures, Reynaud pits himself against Vianne and vows to block the chocolate festival she plans for Easter Sunday, and to run her out of town forever. Witch or not (she'll never tell), Vianne soon sparks a dramatic confrontation between those who prefer the cold comforts of the church and those who revel in their newly discovered taste for pleasure."


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