“Same fanciful feeling as the movie, however the characters have much more depth and background.”Sienna wrote this review Saturday, October 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Nearly made me cry.”flickaflea wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For most of the length of the book, this is a delicious confection. I loved the language, the style, the lushness of this book as a sensory experience. On Mardi Gras day of 1997, wanderer Vianne Rocher and her six-year old daughter Anouk Rocher "came on the wind of the carnival" into the small French village of Lansquenet "of two hundred souls at most." The next day, the beginning of Lent, she's opening a decadent confectioner's shop. The way Harris describes that shop and its wares brings back the magic of childhood but with an overlay of an adult sensuousness and a pagan sensibility. A note says "Joanne Harris, part French and part English, found her inspiration for Chocolat in her own family's history--herself having been born in a sweetshop and being the great-granddaughter of a French woman known locally as a witch." Most of the story is told by Vianne, and it's a lyrical voice and she's a sympathetic character for the most part.
I had mixed feelings about the character of her adversary, Cure Francis Reynaud, the priest of St. Jerome's. He also has his say, and there are times I felt a great deal of pity for him. And the climax of the book on Easter Sunday with him among the temptations of the sweetshop I thought almost brilliant. Almost, because it would have been brilliant if he had been developed in a different direction. I think the problem is we learn too much about him I wish Harris had left obscured. I thought that with his secrets Harris took it a bit over the top, made him too....pathological? Too stereotypically anti-clerical? There was plenty in his personality and profession to give impetus to his opposition without adding those elements, and his voice didn't always work for me.
This also was graced with a lot of wonderful secondary characters though and some of their stories were most moving in the book. There's 80 year old Armande Voizin, who wants so much to connect with her grandson and to keep her independence. There's Guillaume Duplesis, who loves his little dog more than the priest considers "appropriate." There's Josephine Muscat, who has put up with her abusive husband too long. And above all there's Michel Roux and the other river gypsies. Definitely a very enjoyable and memorable read.”
“Weird. Language. Anti-religion. The message is bad, as stated on the inside cover - "It is an enchanting and timeless story about temptation, pleasure, and what a complete waste of time it is to deny yourself anything." I found nothing redeeming in it.”Nancy H wrote this review Wednesday, September 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I watched the movie, Chocolat, several years ago, so I recently decided it was time to read the book. Perhaps I wasn't paying close enough attention when I watched the movie, but I expected something very different when I sat down to read the book. I expected the book to be more... romantic, sensual... Instead I found it to be an exploration of the effects of intolerance. Harris takes the intolerance so rife in our world and concentrates it in one small community showing how limiting we can be when we refuse to see beyond that which we've always been taught. She deftly explores the effects of exclusionary behavior and the harm of not bothering to get to know other people. With the story set around a newcomer who opens a chocolate store during Lent and the priest who opposes not only the chocolate shop but her mere presence, the town seems divided down the middle with people willing to blind themselves to other people's pain in order to maintain the status quo of their lives. I'm not sure the book was intended to make me feel sad, but it often did because it so aptly displayed how divisive human beings can be toward one another while wrapping their judgment up in a warped version of religious righteousness or even concern. Chocolat is a thought-provoking, entertaining book with characters that touch the heart and take up residence in one's imagination.”T. L. Cooper wrote this review Tuesday, September 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Beautifully descriptive, compelling story and lovable characters.. loved this book.”Michelle H wrote this review Sunday, August 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I had thought that I had read this a long time ago and went on to read The Girl with No Shadow a few years ago and Peaches for Father Francis a few days ago. I picked this up again and as I read, realized that I had not yet read this one (have seen the movie). This was a great story and definitely an introduction into the other stories, but I have to say that I think I like the third book of the series the best. The characters seemed more vivid. Chocolat was quaint and good, too, but that third one had a special charm.”k_stin wrote this review Friday, May 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Сонное спокойствие маленького французского городка нарушено приездом молодой женщины Вианн и ее дочери. Они появились вместе с шумным и ярким карнавальным шествием, а когда карнавал закончился, его светлая радость осталась в глазах Вианн, открывшей здесь свой шоколадный магазин. Каким-то чудесным образом она узнает о сокровенных желаниях жителей городка и предлагает каждому именно такое шоколадное лакомство, которое заставляет его вновь почувствовать вкус к жизни.
«Шоколад» – это история о доброте и терпимости, о противостоянии невинных соблазнов и закоснелой праведности. Одноименный голливудский фильм режиссера Лассе Халлстрема (с Жюльетт Бинош, Джонни Деппом и Джуди Денч в главных ролях) был номинирован на «Оскар» в пяти категориях и на «Золотой глобус» – в четырех.”
“A charming story, Vianne Rocher arrives in a little village called Lansquenet and with her strange witch like ways and mysterious aura she unsettles the town and causes tension.
She opens a chocolate shop right in the middle of the village and soon the chocolate and her powerful presense overcomes the villagers reluctance to accept her as one of themselves.
Set against this is the underlying tensions within the lives of the inhabitants of Lansquenet and their day to day petty squabbles and dark secrets.
The church plays a predominant part in the novel and is represented as a dark evil presence that Vianne has to fight against to secure her place and new found life of the village.
This book highlights peoples prejudices and fear of the unknown and reluctance to accept anything that is different or don't wholly understand.
Can Vianne surmount all the problems she faces and for once in her life settle somewhere for good or will pressures force her to move on again?
Well worth reading.”