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Peaches for Monsieur le Curé by…
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Peaches for Monsieur le Curé (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Joanne Harris

Series: Chocolat (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4362724,126 (3.9)32
Member:pollgibbard
Title:Peaches for Monsieur le Curé
Authors:Joanne Harris
Info:Doubleday UK (2012), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:magical realism, popular fiction

Work details

Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris (2012)

Recently added byCydMelcher, private library, Schnuti, MungerLibrary, SueinCyprus, SabinaE, agille37

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Sequel to the classic 'Chocolat'.

Things have moved on in the eight years since Vianne left the French village of Lansquenet. There’s now quite a community of Muslims, who seem to be involved in various feuds. A young a man, who married one of the girls, is trying to insist that they should wear the traditional veils... yet he seems very progressive in other ways. And then there’s the woman in black, Ines, who was running a school for Muslim girls until it was burned down...

While the story is mainly written from Vianne’s perspective, there are some sections written from the point of view of priest Father Reynaud, who has been accused of arson. Both accounts are in the first person, which confused me slightly at first. It works well, and gives good insight into their minds, along with the growing realisation that they are not so different after all.

As with ‘Chocolat’, there’s a mystical element running through - Vianne can see people’s colours, get a sense of what they’re thinking, and has an almost magic way of making chocolate. There's some suspense too, making it difficult to put the book down at times. However, although some of Joanne Harris’s books have been really too dark for my taste, this one felt much lighter overall.

It’s a long book, well over 500 pages, and took me a while to get into, but the writing is excellent and overall I liked it very much. I would certainly recommend reading this as a sequel to ‘Chocolat’; although it stands alone, there are many references to prior events, and Vianne’s relationship with Reynaud would be much harder to understand without having read the first book. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Vianne Rocher, living in Paris on a riverboat with her two daughters, receives a letter from a friend from the rural village of Lansquenet, where she left eight years ago when she opened a chocolate shop described in the author's novel, Chocolat. The letter requests her return because Lansquenet could use her special abilities, including the ability to see the truth lying below the surface of appearances.

"You see, everywhere I look, there are things that connect me to Lansquenet. Stories; people; memories; insubstantial as heat haze, and yet they have a resonance, as if those strings of light could play a tune that might finally lead me home."

She can't resist her friend's invitation especially since the author of the letter has died since it was written.

When she returns to Lansquenet with her two daughters, she discovers that the town has changed. A community of Muslims from North Africa has immigrated to the town settling in a downtrodden part of the village on the river Tannes. Many of the women she encounters are veiled in black. She also discovers dissension in the town: French Catholic natives and Muslim immigrants, young and the old, traditional ways and more contemporary ways. Her former chocolate shop, now a Muslim school for girls, has recently been burned. Father Francis, Vianne's former adversary but now friend has been blamed even though he claims innocence. The Bishop has removed him from his parish for an unknown interim period replacing him with a younger priest who has been instituting contemporary worship practices, which many of his former flock has delightfully accepted.

Shortly after Vianne returns, Father Francis disappears. Has he left town? Has he been the victim of foul play? Is the "Woman in Black" behind the tension? These are the questions that Vianne is attempting to answer. And, can she uses her particular skills to heal the schisms which exist between religions and the old and the new.

The fictional French town and its residents of Lansquenet come so alive through Harris' writing that you find yourself moving in. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 19, 2016 |
***Possible SPOILERS***

Shelfari doesn't provide much of a summary, huh?

Let me try my hand at it:
This is the third book in the Chocolat series, and brings Vianne Rocher back where she started, the town of Lasquenet. Much has changed in the 8 years she has been gone. She has another daughter, Rosette, who doesn't speak, but only makes sounds and is getting very good with magic. Teenager Anouk is starting to feel the awakenings of becoming a woman, but is still in that time where she easily straddles child and adult. These three travel back to the city where Vianne met and fell in love with Roux, Rosette's father.

But what has beckoned Vianne to return to a place where she has less than fond memories? A letter from a now-dead friend entreats her to come back...that there is trouble brewing. Trouble that only Vianne may be able to thwart.

Pretty good, huh?

There is a lot of symbolism in this series. Food is almost a character in the book, substituting for longing, unfulfilled dreams, rebirth, etc. It also serves as a commonality between several cultures, bringing people together.

The Muslim faith is a key component in the story, showing both the extreme and the peaceful sides, the older generation and the younger. I found it to be handled with honesty and not skirting around political correctness.

Characters throughout the series are given more depth and interest. You see Josephine and how she had matured and developed after getting out of her abusive relationship. You see Francis and how he has become a bit more relaxed in his attitudes of others, while still maintaining that aloofness that he thinks comes with being a priest. Anouk and Rosette are growing nicely, as we see Anouk's interest in boys develop and Rosette becoming more social.

The magical elements are not so prominent in this story, which was a good thing, in my mind. It centered more on character relationships and clashes as opposed to manipulating them to find their eventual path. While magic is still a component, it is much more relevant to the story in Chocolat and much more manipulative in The Girl with No Shadow.

All books share commonalities, but can be read as standalones. I would recommend them in order, however, so you get the full spectrum of beginning to end. There is obviously another on its way, and I look forward to reading it. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
It was good to catch up with familiar characters. There's a kind of homeyness in it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
It was good to catch up with familiar characters. There's a kind of homeyness in it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my father, Bob Short, who would never let good fruit go to waste.
First words
Someone once told me that, in France alone, a quarter of a million letters are delivered every year to the dead.
Quotations
Scrying with chocolate is an uncertain business, closer to dreams than to truth, more likely to throw up fantasies than anything that I can use. It flutters like dark confetti, each piece an ephemeral fragment, gleaming for a second and then going out like a blown spark.
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Disambiguation notice
British title: Peaches for Monsieur le Curé (May 2012); US title: Peaches For Father Francis (October 2012);
from Wikipedia.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670026360, Hardcover)

The bestselling author of Chocolat and The Girl with No Shadow returns to Lansquenet in this enchanting new novel, Peaches for Father Francis (in the UK called Peaches for Monsieur le Curé)

When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the beautiful French village in which eight years ago she opened a chocolate shop and first learned the meaning of home.

But returning to one’s past can be a dangerous pursuit. Vianne, with her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, finds Lansquenet changed in unexpected ways: women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea—and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the church, a minaret. Most surprising of all, her old nemesis, Father Francis Reynaud, desperately needs her help.

Can Vianne work her magic once again?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Vianne Rochet returns to the French village of Lansquenet with her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, before allying herself with a desperate Father Frances Reynaud to reverse disturbing local changes.

(summary from another edition)

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