“Chocolat, Pralines & Cinnamon’s Scent”

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The streets full of lights , the cheeks flushed , the hands rubbing between the gloves , the music that creeps in every corner of the decorated streets .
There are those who criticize it , those who love it , those who try to ignore it , who are waiting for it the whole year , but Christmas certainly does not get unnoticed .

The ads become all themed , kids are eager to get presents , loneliness runs over those who do not want to share .
Sitting in a corner of a chocolate shop , 12warm and protected from the elements and resentments, you can order a filled cup of delicious hot brown liquid plenty of cream, a varied assortment of small bon – bon and throw yourself into the soft romance ” Chocolat by Joanne Harris[1] no, even if Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche are superlative, it is not the same if you’ve just seen the movie.

I know, the book is actually set in the middle of Easter, but I always , always, always made me think of the songs and the Christmas atmosphere !

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The differences between the film and the book are not few and are mostly about the meaning , the movie has preferred to remove almost completely the part of the magic , which is predominant in the novel ,

 

<<Magic abounds in Harris’ novel….The gods of legend may dine well in their celestial palaes, but the true sorcery of cooking cannot take place unless the cook and the guests are mortal. This paradox of the human condition is surely one of the messages of Harris’ book.>>[2]

and then as an authentic bookaholic , I ALWAYS recommend reading despite any other medium.

There is nothing that can even come close to the wonder of turning the pages of a good book and , especially when you feel alone , the company of the characters and the atmosphere of a manuscript is just unique . You may object : << ok yes, but why can not I read it into my house wearing slippers and a big woven fleece pyjama ? >>tumblr_lp1kvqzmbw1qaspta

It’s because this book needs an incoherent and chaotic hissing of the people around you to do its magic and carry you in the windy fictional village of Lansquenet , in France , where Vianne with her mysterious secret is able to discover all of the people through the chocolate. And as the sofa with the cover is a nice lure , no house will be well stocked with macarons , cookies , cupcakes , pralines and other yummy treats as a chocolate shop .In this novel , it is easy to guess by the title, that the chocolate is the king , you want to smell it , to taste it , to share it .

“CHURCH, not CHOCOLATE, is the TRUE MEANING of EASTER!!”[3]

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Around this gladness, the lives of the characters turn around, they are well delineated , realistic , if you’ll raise your eyes will seem almost going under the impression  in a line to order their chocolate, or fight out the window . You’ll be happy when the false respectability of the country will be exposed to the entrance of someone who thinks differently and that is not afraid of saying it. It will engage the narrative in first person alternating between Vianne and Reynaud , the priest who makes war against her – and that is missing in the film , ouch ouch .

The Sacred and the Profane .

But above all:

<<Joanne Harris may have created the perfect diet book in her debut novel, Chocolat, a bittersweet confection that’s light on plot but satisfying….The novel tries to be profound about life and death, but the pleasure comes from the food…delicious enough to satisfy any sweet tooth and spare you the calories of dessert.>>[4]
Good stuff!

 


 

[1] http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/books/chocolat/
[2] The New York Times Book Review – Nancy Willard
[3] From the Book.
[4] USA Today – Michael Jacobs

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