- Series: A Vianne Rocher Novel (Book 1)
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (January 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140282033
- ISBN-13: 978-0140282030
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 432 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chocolat: A Novel (A Vianne Rocher Novel) Paperback – January 1, 2000
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“Accomplished and delectable… Few readers will be able to resist.”—New York Times Book Review
“Gourmand Harris’s tale of sin and guilt embodies a fond familiarity with things French that will doubtless prove irresistible to many readers.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“…as sweet, rich and utterly satisfying as a fine truffle. Dieters beware: Ms. Harris’s lush prose drips with mouth-watering descriptions of cocoa confections that could melt even the most resolute of wills.”—Wall Street Journal
“Vianne is a magnet for the town's misfits… Vianne gives them chocolate, but also nudges their lives in the right direction… Clearly, chocolate stands for human kindness and consolation. … Jaunty, hopeful and endearing.”—The Guardian (UK)
“You find yourself unable to stop until you’ve finished feasting on this delightful, quirky, sensuous story. This is also a feelgood book of the first order… so full of colour, tastes and scents, that as you are lured by the plot and the wonderful descriptions, your senses are left reeling. This novel is a celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance. Read it.”—The Observer
From the Back Cover
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 Lenten vows. Her uncanny ability to perceive her customer's 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.
Hailed as "an amazement of riches few readers will be able to resist" by The New York Times Book Review, Chocolat is a timeless and enchanting story about temptation, pleasure, and what a complete waste of time it is to deny yourself anything.
Top customer reviews
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The book is different from the movie version. It's better, although I enjoyed the movie as well. However, there's a lot more secrets and deception hidden in the shadows of this quaint little Christian town than first meets the eye. While the story may appear to be about good and evil, outsiders and towns folk, sinners and saints, it's first and foremost a story about how people are more alike than different. Everyone has a story behind their mask, hidden pain we don't see, if only we can open our eyes and see each other with understanding. Plus an author who can make your tastebuds yearn for a mouthful of chocolate from her tantilzing descriptions, has definitely done her job!!
Within this chocolate covered story lies a deeper message about being judgmental and forgiveness. How even the most seemingly righteous among us, still suffer from past imperfections. It's a story about loving one another for who we are, letting go of the past, excepting that people make mistakes, children grow up, and loved ones pass away. Its a beautiful message about facing your fears, discovering who you are, and finding where you belong. It's a story about celebrating life! Read it with a piece of your favorite decadent chocolate for some heartfelt moments of kindness and brotherly love!!
"I sell dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations." —Joanne Harris, Chocolat
"There is a kind of sorcery in all cooking; in the choosing of ingredients, the process of mixing, grating, melting, infusing and flavoring the recipes." —Joanne Harris, Chocolat
"I don't think there is such a thing as a good or bad Christian. ... Only good or bad people." —Joanne Harris, Chocolat
"Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even it's end." —Joanne Harris, Chocolat
The book itself is a delight, with the two principal characters (Vianne Rocher and Francis Reynaud) getting adequate attention. The writing style is such that it feels both of them are directly speaking to you, and there are lines that are sure to tug your heart. Sample this - "I sent them out with a sugar mouse each and watched them fan across the square like dandelion seeds in the wind".
The characters in this story are well developed. The plot moves along quickly. However, there are so many chapters that mention food, I think I gained weight just reading this book!
This book would be very good if you're looking for a cosy read on a rainy day. It's sweet. It's cute. Yes, there's a sprinkling of magic, more so than in the movie. This book would be suitable for young adults and older.