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Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  

Chocolat

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Into a small rural French village comes a mysterious woman, Vianne, her young daughter and the child’s invisible rabbit. They open a chocolate shop opposite the church. It is Lent and a strange war breaks out between the church and the shop. In alternating chapters between the priest and Vianne we are given views of good and evil, temptation and righteousness and a thought-provoking story unfolds. This is quite delicious, all of it – the villager’s and their secrets, the Frenchness of it all and the chocolate. A far greater book than the film.

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...

‘I’ve always believed you can’t go wrong with love and chocolate: and this deliciously has both. This is a novel which is totally irresistible, because it works on so many different levels: there’s the lovely French setting, the sensuousness of the food and the seriousness of the underlying themes, mixed with a dash of magic, a pinch of ancient wisdom, plus gentle humour and a clear-eyed insight into the most repressed of emotions. Joanne Harris has gone on to write a whole string of bestsellers, often sensuous, sometimes chilling, always surprising – but Chocolat remains the one she is best-known for, and most-loved, too.' Marianne Velmans, Publishing Director at Transworld

If you like Joanne Harris you might also like to read books by Lee Carroll, Ian McEwan and Salley Vickers.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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Synopsis

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Try me...Test me...Taste me. When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as instruments of murder. Suddenly Vianne's shop-cum-cafe means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne's plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a 'Church not Chocolate' battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate eclair? For the first time, here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as a moral issue, as an agent of transformation - as well as a pleasure bordering on obsession. Rich, clever and mischievous, this is a triumphant read.


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Reviews

Mouthwatering ... a feelgood book of the first order ... your senses are left reeling. Read it * Observer * Is this the best book ever written? Truly excellent ... Harris's achievement is not only in her story, in her insight and humour and the wonderful picture of small-town life in rural France, but also in her writing * Literary Review * Sensuous and thought-provoking ... subtle and brilliant * Daily Telegraph * A celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance * Observer * An addictive read ... haunting, obsessive and just a little nutty, like a freshly made praline -- Elisabeth Luard, author of Family Life


About the Author

Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris was our Guest Editor in June 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread-shortlisted Chocolat (made into a major film starring Juliette Binoche), Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Jigs & Reels, and, with Fran Warde, The French Kitchen: A Cookbook. She lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with her husband and daughter.

Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on JOANNE HARRIS

I have thoroughly enjoyed all Joanne Harris’s books but Gentlemen and Players I quite simply adored. I loved the character Roy Straightley, an aging Classic’s teacher with a dicky heart, clinging tenaciously to honest old values, his delightfully ironic sense of humour, his warmth, his dedication. In his secure hands we are led into such a gripping story with so many twist and turns that my only sadness was that it had to end.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd March 2000

Author

Joanne Harris

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Author's Website

www.joanne-harris.co.uk/

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Publisher

Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780552998482

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