Monday, July 06, 2015


Chocolat is a 1999 novel by Joanne Harris. It tells the story of Vianne Rocher, a young single mother, who arrives in the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes at the beginning of Lent with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk. Vianne opens a chocolate shop, La Céleste Praline, right opposite the village church, and throughout the traditional season of fasting and self-denial, proceeds to gently change the lives of the villagers who visit her chocolaterie with a combination of sympathy, subversion and a little magic.

This scandalizes the parish priest, Francis Reynaud, and his supporters. As tensions run high, the community is increasingly divided. And as Easter approaches, pitting the ritual of the Church against the indulgence of chocolate, Father Reynaud and Vianne Rocher face an inevitable showdown.

Harris has indicated that several of the book's characters were influenced by individuals in her life: Her daughter forms the basis for the young Anouk, including her imaginary rabbit, Pantoufle. Harris' strong-willed and independent great-grandmother influenced her portrayal of both Vianne and the elderly Armande.

A sequel to the novel, The Lollipop Shoes, was released in the UK in 2007; it was released in the US in 2008 under the title The Girl with No Shadow.[2] In 2012, a third chapter in Vianne's story was published, entitled Peaches for Monsieur le Curé (Peaches for Father Francis in the US).

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