Magical Chocolates

by Joanne Harris
Penguin Books
PR6058 H315C 2000 Central Library

If you’ve read any book written by Joanne Harris, you will be able to make a reasonable good guess that Chocolat will be a delicious tale, full of mention of chocolate confectionary, intriguing recipes and how food, has that magical ability to flavor life.

Indeed, Chocolat is such a tale. Vianne Rocher, a single mother arrives one mysterious night at the small village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her young daughter in tow. Her sudden appearance in this highly conservative town is the cause of great concern, especially for the town’s priest, for Vianne is the epitome of vivaciousness, flamboyance and free-spiritedness- everything that goes against the ethos of the parish church.

She sets up a chocolate shop, selling her rich, mouthwatering creations to the villagers, who one by one grows to accept and welcome her into their midst. Her confectionary, they discover, seems to possess a magical, life-changing quality. An estranged couple finds love again, a painfully shy man discovers the courage to declare his love to the woman of his dreams, a battered woman finds the courage to leave her violent husband- these are but some people who find their lives irrevocably changed by Vianne.

I enjoyed this book tremendously as it incorporated many elements that made it a great read- there’s mystery, romance, magic, crime, social justice all woven into a well-told tale. Chocolatmakes the daring suggestion that our lives can be more meaningful if spiced up with the beautiful and pleasurable things in life.

Pick this up at the library today!

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