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The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen
Deborah Cartmell
Pathways to Language: From Fetus to Adolescent (The Developing Child)
Kyra Karmiloff, Annette Karmiloff-Smith
Why I Write
George Orwell
A Dance With Dragons
George R.R. Martin
The Arabian Nights (New Deluxe Edition)
Anonymous, Muhsin Mahdi, Husain Haddawy
The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling
Les Misérables: Volume One
Victor Hugo
Dramaturgy and Performance
Cathy Turner, Synne Behrndt
Chocolat - Joanne Harris When I read Chocolat, I couldn’t help to be astonished by its beautiful written story about a woman and her daughter, moving to a new place, just hoping to fit it and to find a place to settle for good.It’s carnival in the small village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, Vianne Rocher and her daughter, Anouk are brought there by the “wind”, and they settle in an old bakery. Shortly after moving in, they open a chocolatiere, La Praline Celeste, of course, the village curate, Francis Reynaud, doesn’t quite agree with her choice of boutique, and is puzzled because the Lent has just begun. However, his puzzlement quickly turns to anger when he realizes that Vianne does not obey the church, and mocks the unspoken rules of the village.Even though she never says it out loud, we learn that Vianne is a witch. She and her mother always travelled from one city to the other, and though her mother always tried to make that free spirit take place in Vianne, Vianne was more of the social kind. Since they both were born with the gifts of magic, they used it to earn their living. The main reason they run from town to town, is what is called the Black Man, which is a recurring card in her mother’s tarot cards. When her mother was killed by a cab, Vianne went on her own, trying to evade her own Black Man, and settle down with her daughter.Vianne has a talent for cooking, and a charming personality, and opening a chocolatiere has always been a dream of her. She tries to fit in to the little village and to help her customers in the best way she can, she evens starts to have regulars coming into her shop every day.In the meantime, Reynaud attempts to have Vianne chased out of town, in one way or another, and that is mainly what his preaches in the church every Sunday is about. In the start, a few people actually listen to him, but not for long though.¨Although Reynaud is irritated at Vianne, he also gets another problem; river gypsies are coming to town. They anchor up their boats, and is staying to stock up their food supplies, tools and to fix their boats. Reynaud has an old grudge towards the river gypsies, and asks every shop and café in the town to refuse the gypsies entry. Vianne however, doesn’t follow Reynaud’s rules, and makes friends among the gypsies. Mainly, a man named Roux, in which Vianne feels a certain attraction towards, but as Roux is romantically involved with a friend of Vianne, she backs off. However, they have one night together at the end of the book.The fact that Vianne befriends the gypsies, irritates Reynaud even more than one would think possible, and he is literally about to lose his mind, when Vianne announces that a “Grand Festival of Chocolate” is to be held on Easter Sunday.Personal ThoughtsSo I didn’t write the ending for this review, why? Because I found the ending so good that I don’t want to ruin it for anybody. This, is real literature, not a young adults book, not a book for teens and preteens, it’s for adults. The fact that it is for adults is probably why I found it very slow, and I disliked the beginning a bit (at the same time as I loved it), because it was so incredibly slow and boring. It was all about introducing every person that lives in the village. However, I found the story so intruding that I couldn’t put it down for a long amount of time, but despite this, I spent a week reading it. I’m not a slow reader I just found it slower than what my other books are.I left out a few characters in my review, to name a couple, there was a woman named Armande, her daughter Caroline and her family, a married couple named Jean-Marie and Josephine Muscat, and a man named Guillaume. These are very important characters, and they all have sub-plots that are important to the main plots. Armande, Josephine and Guillaume serves as three of Viannes regular clients, and they become good friends of Vianne.What I liked the most about the book, was the feeling that it belonged in a different time. I was surprised every time there was a mention of a car, a bus or other electronic devices that didn’t quite fit in with what I imagined to be happening in late 1800 France. I liked the small surprises I got every time someone wore designer outfits, because it didn’t seem like something the small village would care about. So I enjoyed the surprises throughout the book the most.All in all, I did very much enjoy the book, and I would recommend it to anyone who is tired of just reading young adult, and yet another sappy romance novel.