Chocolat — Joanne Harris

I thought i’d take a break away from the Vic Lit and dive into something a little more contemporary, and i wasn’t disappointed.

This one has only been sat in ‘The Pile’ for just 4 months, so it’s jumped the queue by quite a bit (the other books will undoubtedly be feeling a little annoyed).   I came across a really good review of this on social media and i took that as a message that it was time to read it.

So yeah, where to start with a review of this book.   Well, the obvious one is, don’t read this if you’re a devout catholic.   There’s a fair bit of catholic bashing in this book — which one might say is well deserved.

Mostly, this book is a criticism of the old ways of the catholic church and the sanctimonious, holier than though hypocrites, who sit in self appointed, holy judgement over us heathens.   And i must say, Joanne does a wonderful job of it, and some might say, a much needed job considering the recent past.

All in all, a delightful story set in a small French village whose inhabitants were in desperate need of some good chocolate and an alternative view on life, other than the miserable one being suffered at the behest of aforementioned, sanctimonious crowd and their church and priest.   And what better way of telling that story than setting up a chocolaterie directly opposite the parish church in the centre of the village.

I especially enjoyed the way Joanne alternates throughout between 2 completely separate protagonists’ narratives from 2 very different opposing protagonists, the chocolatier and the priest, and she makes that work really well, although it does make you pause a little when they swap over on occasion.

At the end though, am i going to read the next books in this series?   As soon as i get a good price on them at Amazon i’ll definitely be adding them to ‘The Pile’.   What hope is there when i read one book off ‘The Pile’ and all it does is inspire me to add two more books to it?

Did the book inspire to consume more cocoa products?   No, i already consume too much already. #chocolatelove

Too many good writers and never enough reading time — or chocolate.   All good fun though! 

Joanne’s Page

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