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No title (1999)

Series: Chocolat (1)

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Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1999)


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Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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 | Sep 22, 2016 |
I saw the film before I read the book - the book was different. Deeper. I enjoyed it a lot, though it was a slower read than I thought. It was very descriptive. And it didn't help that I had chocolate cravings all throughout reading it! ( )
  EllAreBee | Sep 19, 2016 |
I read this book many, many years ago - it was the first Joanne Harris book I read, and one of the few books I read when I was a teenager that I actually finished.

I found it really engrossing and absolutely loved it. I loved the way that Harris developed her characters and added such subtlety and depth. The mayor of the town sounds like a bit of a villain, in the blurb, but it's really not like that at all. I enjoyed reading the different chapters from different character's perspectives. I liked the richness of this novel, the texture of it and how atmospheric it was.

The only thing I didn't really like was the fact that it was sometimes slower in places. That said, the setting is a tiny, tiny little village in France, so I'm not sure how I would've written it, given the opportunity.

Overall, I loved it, I formed an attachment to the characters and was so impressed with how much Harris was able to convey while leaving so much unsaid.

4.5 stars. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
I grew up loving the movie and when I read the book 5 years ago, I was disappointed because I kept comparing it to the movie. I'm glad I waited a few years to re-read it because I LOVED it the second time around! It made much more sense to me and I get why the movie changed several aspects of the story line. There is something so charming about small town living and this book explores that in a big way. Vianne and her daughter Anouk go wherever the wind takes them. They are outsiders, essentially gypsies, unable to stay in any place very long. When they arrive in the small charming French town, Lansquenet, they decide to stay and open a chocolate shop. The resident priest couldn't be more outraged. How dare this woman barge into their town and open a chocolate shop during lent, she will tempt and corrupt the townspeople! Vianne slowly starts to win over some of the towns more open minded residents but it remains a struggle for her to please everyone. The gypsies, the thief, the dog lover, and the crass old woman, have become her friends but some of the Bible brigade and the priest will take time. A wonderful book and fantastic movie. I had no idea that this was a series so I shall have to check out the other books as well! ( )
  ecataldi | Aug 29, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harris, Joanneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Roman over de smaak van liefde
In memory of my great-grandmother Marie Andre Sorin (1892-1968)
First words
We came on the wind of the carnival.
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)

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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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