Novel set in ‘Chocolat’ rural France – The Strawberry Thief, by Joanne Harris
Back to Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, and Chocolat with Vianne
The Strawberry Thief, by Joanne Harris – Vianne Rocher has settled down in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes where she opened her iconic shop in Chocolat. It might have been a strange place to her once, but now it’s finally become her home. She’s still running her chocolate shop in the square and has embraced the community as much as it seems to have embraced her.. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend. This Novel set in ‘Chocolat’ rural France – The Strawberry Thief, by Joanne Harris is best enjoyed with chocolates and strawberries as you read…
But life is about to change, for Narcisse, the florist has died, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette, Vianne’s ‘special’ child, and a written confession to Reynaud.. Will life in the village of Chocolat and now the Strawberry Thief ever be the same again?
Novel set in ‘Chocolat’ rural France – The Strawberry Thief, by Joanne Harris….
Setting: A French village, a chocolate shop and the sweet scent of strawberries..
What more is there to love than a book by the wonderful writer Joanne Harris, Chocolat and Strawberries! Take all three ingredients, add a dash of Harris magic and you have the wonderful new novel The Strawberry Thief. It’s always a treat to revisit a magical place found in a book, even if fictional. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes sounds so real and in a way, I believe it is – it’s so well brought to life, evoked in flavour and tastes, that you will honestly feel you are there.
It’s a lovely feeling wandering back into Vianne’s world. Things have changed! There’s not the hostility she found in Chocolat (maybe all that sweetness and chocolate has mellowed them all) but the olde worlde charm is even more heartwarming. There’s wild strawberries throughout the novel as a theme and one shop even has it on their wallpaper. Not only that – if sniffing the pages of the book is not enough for you, and you can’t get enough strawberries and chocolate to eat as you read, there’s now a perfume to accompany it and make the reading experience even more magical!
“This collaboration has been one of excitement and has deepened the understanding of the relationship between words and scents. ‘The Strawberry Thief’ by Joanne Harris provides a wonderful setting and atmosphere with a delightful fragrance by CPL Aromas to compliment it.”
Vianne’s chocolate shop is still as delectable as ever and chocolate fans will rejoice at living and working in the shop again. with one daughter off in Paris, Rosette is the daughter with special abilities such as the way in which she sees the aura of those who live in the village. She has speech problems but she can communicate with feelings, emotions and in many more spiritual ways. Then there’s the priest Reynaud – he’s totally different and it was a pleasure to meet him again and get to know the person behind the shell. He now finds himself in the middle of the chaos when Vianne is left the land, the florist’s family believe should have been theirs. Is the peace of this village now threatened?
Aah but this isn’t just a case of Vianne and the villagers. No, there’s added tension as there’s a newcomer, just like Vianne was all those years ago. Morgane takes over the florist shop but she’s not exactly welcome by the others. You might think Vianne would see herself in her…and maybe she does. I got the feeling that somehow Vianne now realises the threat the villagers once saw in her. Morgane is as unique and as quirky as she was, and still is. Thisgave an extra depth to the story and really got under the skin of the ‘ then and now’.
I really enjoyed this novel as it was like going back in time – it’s been twenty whole years since that Chocolat shop opened its doors! You know the fear of going back to a place you’ve loved and been so happy in and it no living up to expectations and memories? Well, that’s not the case here – the village and the surrounding area, the people, the chocolate and the magic in the air is all there welcoming the reader from the very first page to the last.
The world of chocolate creation, the magic and warmth of chocolat (e) , the magical inventions…the aromas, the tastes, that anticipation when you open up a bar of chocolate and sniff it before placing it on your tongue? Recognise that feeling? This book is that and more.