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★★★★★

“320 page paperback”

Written on: 18/05/2009 by zoodemon (33 reviews written)

Good Points
likeable and playful characters.
lovely writing.
better than the film.

Bad Points
lacked a strong finish.

General Comments
320 page paperback

i enjoyed the film apart from Johnny Depp's accent, and Joanne Harris, Chocolat seemed to have great reviews so i bought it. I've not read any of the authors book's before, and i found her gentle and enchanting style very easy to follow, while still interesting enough to distract me from my memory of the film.

The story follows a mother and child, spirit believers tormented by the knowing wind, hastening them to escape the foes of their past. The mother wants to settle in peace, as much so her young daughter might have the steady upbringing she herself was denied. They make their home in a dusty French village, serene and indifferent to their arrival. The locals are misguided by the high and mighty church priest, who presents himself as a determined and honourable character, while being weaker than most. The priest takes great offense to the newcomers setting up a shop of chocolate delights, distracting the villagers away from his bilious sermons to a new world of fun and intrigue. A battle of wills commences.

The characters are lovely and very well cast in the film, although there are obvious changes from the book as in most adaptations. The writing is extremely good and there are some really wonderful passages that you'll want to read over time and again. It's a great book, steeped in spirituality and love, and written with such affection that you can't help but enjoy it. I just thought it lacked a solid story ending, and that it was a little hurried at the end.

I'd definitely recommend this book as well as keep it and re-read it, and i would also try some more of Joanne Harris's writing.

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