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Chocolat by Joanne Harris
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Chocolat (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Joanne Harris

Series: Chocolat (1)

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6,002165694 (3.8)415
Member:updo
Title:Chocolat
Authors:Joanne Harris
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2000), Edition: Other Printing, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:relationships, occult, France

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Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1999)

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English (148)  Dutch (9)  Lithuanian (2)  Finnish (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (166)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
I adored the film. It's one of my favorites. So, when I discovered that it was based on a book, I had to read it. And, it's not a bad book. The film adaptation is quite different, although many of the characters are the same. For instance, in the book, Reynaud is the priest not the mayor and Caroline Clairmont is not a widow working for him. Armande is still feisty and Guillaume sweet. Josephine also appears prominently. Roux was far more appealing on screen: I wonder why? ;)

There is more depth the the story and it's very much a story about family: a story about mothers and daughters. Vianne also managed to connect with the villagers, despite their priest's disapproval. She's unusual and an outsider and sells chocolate. There is a lot of mysteriousness in the narration: is Vianne really a witch? Is Armande a witch? Will the pagan win out against the church?

I didn't find this story as charming or as magical as the film. I liked the changes made in the film adaptation and I thought Vianne was much more likeable in the film, than in the book. I suppose the book's ending was more true to Vianne's character, but I loved the film's ending more.

So, I don't normally say this but I prefer the film. This novel was hard for me to get into. It was one of those that I needed to force myself to finish. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
I adored the film. It's one of my favorites. So, when I discovered that it was based on a book, I had to read it. And, it's not a bad book. The film adaptation is quite different, although many of the characters are the same. For instance, in the book, Reynaud is the priest not the mayor and Caroline Clairmont is not a widow working for him. Armande is still feisty and Guillaume sweet. Josephine also appears prominently. Roux was far more appealing on screen: I wonder why? ;)

There is more depth the the story and it's very much a story about family: a story about mothers and daughters. Vianne also managed to connect with the villagers, despite their priest's disapproval. She's unusual and an outsider and sells chocolate. There is a lot of mysteriousness in the narration: is Vianne really a witch? Is Armande a witch? Will the pagan win out against the church?

I didn't find this story as charming or as magical as the film. I liked the changes made in the film adaptation and I thought Vianne was much more likeable in the film, than in the book. I suppose the book's ending was more true to Vianne's character, but I loved the film's ending more.

So, I don't normally say this but I prefer the film. This novel was hard for me to get into. It was one of those that I needed to force myself to finish. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
Review can also be found in Chill and read:
https://chillandreadblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/chocolat-by-joanne-harris/

Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk, arrive in the French village of Lansquenet after having traveled in many places. They open a chocolate boutique directly opposite the village’s church and they intent to stay. They are as exotic as any stranger can be to the villagers, not accustomed to tourists or visitors. Father Reynaud denounces Vianne as a serious danger to his flock and chocolate as a sin, especially as Easter is approaching and people should be abstinent. War is declared between church and chocolate,Father Reynaud and Vianne.

The book is about many things that feed our minds with thoughts. It is about making new friends and fitting in to a new environment, so different than you. It is about embracing new things and different cultures. It is about racism. It is about the right to live your own life, no matter what others say. It is about the strength needed to oppose to your people when what you believe is not what they want from you. it is about making new starts and be strong against old bad habits and even worse men. It is about believing in children and trusting them, allowing them fly away from the nest into the real world. It is about life and death, spiritual and human, Christianity and paganism, God and magic, right and wrong.

One of the fasinating things of this book is the chocolate itself. “La Celeste Praline”, the chocolaterie that Vianne Rocher opened in the French village, is somewhat extravagant. I don’t know if this is a characteristic of the French, but every little sweet thing had a name that would call for you to taste it. The descriptions of the brews and the candy in the store are so vivid, that the reader would easily imagine having one or two along with the book. This is not an easy task! ( )
  GeorgiaKo | Jun 24, 2016 |
I don't think I'd have normally picked this up. I never watched the movie, and I assumed the book would be a sappy romance plot with chocolate thrown into the mix as a shtick. Assumptions often make you miss out, she says now to herself.

I quite enjoyed the book, the characters, and the nearly edible descriptions of scenes given throughout. I think my focus fell most on Reynaud. Mainly because his anger veiled with piety piqued my curiosity early on in the book. I loved Anouk's name, spirit, and the wisps of tracks left behind by the loyal Pantoufle. Guillaume both cheered and broke my heart. Armande might just be my spirit character for when I'm 80 and I found myself very proud of the character Josephine at the end of things.

All-in-all, a very satisfying look into a small village and those the wind carries.

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.”

( )
  lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
The only reason why i dind't give it 5 stars despite me loving it so so much, was because it didn't have the ending i wanted. I know its not fair, the book is really well written and deserves all the stars, but i am childish when it comes to my favorite couples. ( )
  LadyJoana | Apr 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harris, Joanneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Roman over de smaak van liefde
Dedication
In memory of my great-grandmother Marie Andre Sorin (1892-1968)
First words
We came on the wind of the carnival.
Quotations
There is a kind of alchemy in the tranformation of base chocolate into this wise fool's gold, a layman's magic which even my mother might have relished. As I work I clear my mind, breathing deeply. The windows are open, and the through draught would be cold if it were not for the heat of the stoves, the copper pans, the rising vapour from the melting couverture. The mingled scents of chocolate, vanilla, heated copper and cinnamon are intoxicating, powerfully suggestive; the raw and earthy tang of the Americas, the hot and resinous perfume of the rainforest. This is how I travel now, as the Aztecs did in their sacred rituals. The court of Montezuma. Cortez and Columbus. The food of the gods, bubbling and frothing in ceremonial goblets. The bitter elixir of life.
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Book description
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 Lenton vows. Her uncanny ability to preceive 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. (0-131-00018-X)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0552998486, Paperback)

trade edition paperback, vg++

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:48 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaund denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin.

(summary from another edition)

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