Utterly delicious

2012-09-19 00:00

BOOK REVIEW

Peaches for Monsieur le Curé

Joanne Harris

Doubleday

LIKE the tasty peaches of the title, I devoured every succulent morsel of Joanne Harris’s sequel to Chocolat.

That first novel ended with the entrancing Vianne Rocher, chocolate maker and reader of people’s emotions, leaving the little village of Lansquenet and heading to Paris.

Eight years later she, river-rat Roux, and Vianne’s daughters, Anouk and Rosette, are living in a houseboat in the French capital.

Opening the mail one morning, she discovers a letter from her old friend Armande, who invites her to return to the village because someone is in need of her help.

Intrigued, she decides to go to Lansquenet to pay her respects to Armande, who died before the letter was sent, but she finds the familiar landscape altered.

Several Muslim families have moved into the old tanneries, and the relationship between the newcomers and the old villagers is strained.

Some in the village blame the curé Francis Reynaud for the problems. He has been accused of setting fire to Vianne’s old chocolate shop, which was turned into a school run by the veiled and mysterious Ines Bencharki.

All is revealed and along the way Vianne uses food— and especially chocolate — to get to the heart of the matter.

I love good old-fashioned storytelling and Harris always delivers. This book is like a dark chocolate treat — utterly delicious and something that lingers long in the mind. 

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