ISBN:9780552998482
Binding:Paperback

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle? Review: "Mouthwatering ... a feelgood book of the first order ... your senses are left reeling. Read it" Observer "Is this the best book ever written? Truly excellent ... Harris's achievement is not only in her story, in her insight and humour and the wonderful picture of small-town life in rural France, but also in her writing" Literary Review "Sensuous and thought-provoking ... subtle and brilliant" Daily Telegraph "A celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance" Observer "An addictive read ... haunting, obsessive and just a little nutty, like a freshly made praline" -- Elisabeth Luard, author of "Family Life" Review: A wickedly delicious confection, mouth-watering and alluring. A woman of mysterious origins arrives with her daughter in a small, tightly knit, southern French village. She opens a chocolate shop, selling 'dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations', to the fury of the village priest and his acolytes, who consider her wares 'Sodom and Gomorrah through a straw'. Soon her influence begins to percolate far beyond hot chocolate and fancy ribbons... A very special book. (Kirkus UK) Review: A first novel that rather cloyingly describes the transformations that overtake the residents of a small French village when a mysterious stranger and her daughter arrive and open a chocolate shop. The townspeople of Lansquenet live in the present day, but the patterns of their lives were established long before they were born - and change very little from year to year. A hamlet straight out of Flaubert, Lansquenet is filled with busybodies who have nothing better to do with their days than spy on one another, until two new arrivals provide fresh grist for the mill. What inspired Vivianne Rocher to move to Lansquenet with her daughter Anouk and to open a chocolate boutique is never explained, but her effect on the populace is profound and immediate: the grim little town and its sniping inhabitants are transformed through the magic of Vivianne's confections into an almost surreal assembly of sensualists, each somehow discovering in bonbons the key to happiness. Elderly crones find themselves remembering long-forgotten loves; shy young couples work up the nerve to break the ice. Is this all the result of only chocolate? Or is some more sinister force at work? The local priest suspects the worst, and his suspicions are reinforced by his awareness that Vivianne opened her shop on Shrove Tuesday - and thus has been tempting the entire parish from its Lenten austerities for the past six weeks. Now, she has even announced plans for a "Chocolate Festival" to take place on Easter Sunday itself! Horrified, he hatches a plan to foil her festivities, but God does not always side with the just. Who will win the soul of the town? Premise, prose, and pace all march along capably, but they fail nevertheless to raise the whole above the debilities of heavy symbolism and excruciatingly precious plot. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Book Condition Book Damage Price Seller  
Acceptable Slightly creased spine. Page edges tanned, spine creased. The cover picture is different from the one shown here. £3.25 Summer8

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