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Peaches for Father Francis: A Novel Hardcover – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670026360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670026364
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Vianne Rocher, who worked culinary magic on a French village in the best-seller Chocolat (1999), now finds herself helping her onetime nemesis. In the third novel in Harris’ series (following Blackberry Wine, 2000), an influx of foreigners has wrought change in Lansquenet. Vianne and her daughters return to find that Father Francis is suspected of a recent crime. Both Vianne and Father Francis tell the tale, and fresh mysteries involving Muslim immigrants and Vianne’s old friend Josephine present themselves to be unraveled. Readers of the previous novels will relish the return to Lansquenet, as it is easy to fall under the community’s spell even as conflict is tearing at its seams. Newcomers who have a somewhat difficult time entering Vianne’s mystical world will be drawn in by Harris’ expertly drawn and instantly recognizable characters, along with their richly realized world. With charm and allure, the novel explores the difference one person can make. For all Vianne’s magic, the recipe for success is simply uncovering what keeps people apart and what binds them together. --Bridget Thoreson

Review

“The puzzle explodes with incandescent intensity.” —Kirkus Review


“Harris’s skill at vibrantly depicting the charm and eccentricity of rural French life is at the heart of this delightful novel.” —Library Journal


“Worth immersing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Lansquenet’s narrow 200-year-old streets.”—The Washington Post
(Nancy Robertson)

“Readers familiar with the Rochers will welcome the newest installment of their story, particularly as it addresses contemporary problems in a familiar setting.”—Publishers Weekly, Pick of the Week

(Publisher's Weekly)

More About the Author

Joanne Harris is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Blackberry Wine and Chocolat, which was nominated for the Whitbread Award, one of Britain's most prestigious literary prizes. Half French and half British, Harris lives in England.

Customer Reviews

I adore all the Joanne Harris books I have read to date.
Kathy Davie
Many of the characters from the first book are present here and new ones, just as vivid, are introduced.
Christine N. Ethier
It was hard to keep focused on this book and at the end I kind of flipped through it.
prairie woman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chris Nickson on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The third episode to feature Vianne Rocher and her family (nuclear and extended) brings her back to Lansquenet. But it's not the place she left, it's riven by tensions between locals and Muslim immigrants. Whereas before the priest had seemed her enemy, now they make unlikely allies to help break down the barriers. It's a darker tale than Chocolat, in some ways darker than The Lollipop Shoes, but ultimately it's about people, their hopes, desires, the dreams. And that is Harris's magic. She weaves her spells and shows that at heart we're the same, no matter how we dress, and that good can triumph over evil. Vianne remains one of the great creations, a wisp who's in the world but not always of it, and the web of relationships is just as wonderful as before, with old friends and new acquaintances. Let's hope this isn't the last dip into her glorious life.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. King on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A welcome return to Lansquenet, at least for us, the readers. But things have changed there since Vianne Rocher left.
As she untangles the strange goings on, the Vent d'Autan begins to blow, and it's well known that it makes people do dangerous, crazy things.
As usual, Joanne Harris serves up a feast of characters and setting, but in this book surprised me by grasping a thorny issue firmly by the truffles.
A real page-turner with a wise heart.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christine N. Ethier on October 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Disclaimer: I received an ARC via Netgalley. Receiving said ARC made me squeal in glee. Whatever power at Penguin books said let her have it, I love you.

There is something about the Joanne Harris and her books that are set in France. Every time you read one of them, you want to eat. It's not that want a new, rich piece of decadent cake feeling. It's a sit in the garden, open a bottle of wine, and have a nice dinner with family and friends type of feeling. The type of situation where the talk is just as important as the food. It's a nice cool night. No bugs. There's a fire and a lot laughter. The food is good and honest. The wine not too expensive, but not cheap either.

That's this book.

This book, more than The Girl with No Shadow, is the true follow up to Chocolat. The threads that Chocolat left that weren't touched on in Shadow are dealt with here. This book is far less forced in feeling than Shadow. Whether true or not, Shadow felt like it was written because of the movie's popularity. Peaches feels like a fruit growing from a well loved tree. It is a gift to readers.

After living with Roux, Anouk, Rosette, and Bam in Paris, Vianne finds herself called back to Lansquenet-sous-Tannes after receiving a letter from the dead. She returns to the village with her children, but without Roux who doesn't want to come and discovers that things have changed yet again, and Father Reynard stands accused of a crime that very few in the village think he is innocent of.

And this sense of change is the heart of the novel as is the question of innocence.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By prairie woman on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed other books by Joanne Harris, but I was disappointed with this one. I think these stories about Vianne Rocher have gone on long enough. Chocolat was a delightful story of this woman and her daughter who drift into a small French village and proceed to become involved in the lives of people and make a difference. The problem I had was the sequence. I thought that Chocolat took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but we find Vianne returning to the village, and her daughter now has an IPad? Vianne tries to connect with her old friend Josephine, but finds her distant. The Priest, Father Francis, is also puzzled that she has returned and he is preparing to leave because he is being accused of setting fire to the old chocolate shop. The Arab women who were renting the shop had a school there and they also have a story and we find also a new community of people from the Middle East that embrace traditions that don't quite meet the approval of a very provincial village. Vianne identifies with them and had also spent some time in Tangiers as a young girl. Again Vianne brings her magic, chocolates, and spirit to this village, but it all seems not to flow so well. It was hard to keep focused on this book and at the end I kind of flipped through it. Just not for me this time!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jacquie on November 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read Chocolat, I was already to go on another adventure with Vianne who's spirit rises above and who's sensitivity is felt by all. I am not finished with the book and love reading it but don't really want it to end.
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Format: Hardcover
Joanne Harris continues the story of Vianne Rocher, who was first seen in the delightful 1997 novel CHOCOLAT. Most will fondly recall the terrific Lasse Hallstrom film adaptation of the book, which starred A-List actors like Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina and Dame Judi Dench.

As enjoyable as the movie was, it did not come anywhere near the power of the novel and only skimmed the surface of the underlying magic/occult theme that was at the center of the character conflicts. Harris followed up CHOCOLAT a few years back with the second novel in the Vianne Rocher series, THE GIRL WITH NO SHADOW, which found Vianne, her lover Roux, and daughters Anouk and baby Rosette now living in the suburbs of Paris. They cross paths with a powerful witch who pushes the family to the very boundaries of their beliefs and magical powers.

PEACHES FOR FATHER FRANCIS opens with Vianne receiving a letter from a deceased friend that appears out of the past. Armande (the role portrayed by Judi Dench in Chocolat) reaches out from beyond the grave in the form of a letter that beckons Vianne and her family back to the village of Lansquenet. It has been eight years since they left following the turmoil of which they were at the center.

The primary reason for Vianne's departure from Lansquenet was the presence of Father Francis Reynaud. His devout Catholicism caused him to reject all that Vianne was about and he labeled her a witch. The chocolate shop that she ran has remained barren. Aside from that, it appears initially that not much has changed in the village.

Roux remains behind, and Vianne's return to Lansquenet is with Anouk and Rosette. They find that a section of the village is now inhabited by a large population of Muslim residents who have migrated from Morocco.
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