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Chocolat by Joanne Harris



Book Reviews (Adult)

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Published by Black Swan, 1999

A mystical, sensual novel where Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk arrive in a rural French town and open a chocolate shop. The towns inhabitants are divided in their reaction to the new shop, mainly because it’s the season of Lent and fasting and they are confronted with temptation and facing their own demons. The main opposition to Vianne and her new venture is from the local priest, as he sees Vianne as a witch and her luscious chocolates as a temptation from the devil.

However, the parishioners soon realise that Vianne is not a witch and she befriends them and ironically does a lot more charitable work than the priest as she tries to reconcile a dying woman with her estranged
grandson and consoles an old man who is losing his best friend. The priest on the other hand is a cynical, controlling person who has a lot of dark secrets in his past.

This book is a beautiful read, which has a serious moral message at its core, but like Vianne’s chocolates it is smothered in cream and the language is so visually expressive, one can almost smell and taste the
delicious chocolate. Without exception every member of the bookclub thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Reviewed by Kilrush Library book club.

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