- Author Joanne Harris
I’ve read this before, a long time ago, and it was interesting dipping into it again. I remembered it as I do so many of Harris’ books - full of warmth and sumptuous descriptions, moving passages with vivid images, and of course, plenty of food. What I hadn’t quite expected, and this is foolish, of course, is just how much chocolate there is.
How does Vianne live, drinking and eating so much chocolate every day? How does she stay in business, giving away so many chocolates to her visitors?
It’s a wonderful story, full of fear and longing, happiness and family, loneliness and the stark reality that religion does not hold the place in people’s hearts that it once did. There are so many battles to be fought during this book, but they are so subtle, so hidden behind layers that it doesn’t feel like a harsh story. My only complaint is it’s not really clear that anyone ends up happy. A happy ending isn’t always necessary but so many of the characters end up miserable or lonely, it’s a slightly disappointing end to the delicious journey.