Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chocolat - Joanne Harris

Vivianne Rocher and her daughter Anock arrive in the French villiage Lansquenet (I like that it never really tells you quite where they are from) and are clearly marked as outsiders. They don't go to church and they open a chocolate chop opposite the church during Lent. Father Rayraud from the church takes this as open warfare and begins to undermine them and try to get them to leave the villiage.

A cast of excellent main and secondary characters, this novel really drew me in. The different chocolates made my mouth water and I loved the Pagan side to the novel that was missed out of the film (which I also enjoyed but for different reasons). I liked that you never quite knew where Vivianne was from origianlly and learning the shocking truth behind her upbringing was again something left out of the film. The war between them and "The Black Man" was done well and I liked that it wasn't specifically anti-christianity. The point was there are good and bad people, religion doesn't make you either neccessarily.

The ending was quite mixed. The new blessing to Vivianne's life was wonderful, but I was sad that the wind still called to them to move on again. It would be lovely if Harris wrote a sequel. To anyone who enjoyed the film, please read the book. It is very different whilst still retaining the charm of the film. I will dedinately be reading more from this author, although I have heard this is by far her best novel to date.

6 comments:

soleil said...

i also enjoyed the pagan aspects of the book. i felt that there was so much more depth to the book than was conveyed in the movie.

Chris said...

I have the book, just need the time to read it.

naida said...

I also enjoyed this book and liked it better than the film version.

Suzanne said...

Just wanted to let any Joanne Harris fans in the UK know that she will be appearing at Sheffield Hallam University on Wednesday 12 December 2007 at 6.30pm for 7pm. Tickets are free and include pre lecture tea and coffee followed by a book signing with mulled wine and mince pies! Tickets should be ordered in advance by emailing events@shu.ac.uk by telephone on 0114 225 4957.
Thanks
Suzanne

Rhinoa said...

Thanks for the heads up Suzanne will see if I can get near the area.

Soliel - Have you read anything else by her?

Chris - I wasn't that bothered about reading it but I am definately glad I made the effort. Give it a go, you know you want to...

Nadia - Cool. I still like the film, but the book was that bit better.

Margo. said...

I'm not sure, but I think Lollipop shoes is a squeal to Chocolat?