First edition cover
|Publication date||4 March 1999|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||394 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-385-41064-6 (first edition, hardback)|
Chocolat is a 1999 novel by Joanne Harris. It tells the story of Vianne Rocher, a young mother, who arrives at a fictional insular French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk. Vianne opens La Céleste Praline, a small chocolaterie, and her confections quickly begin to change the lives of the townspeople through magic, setting up a conflict with Francis Reynaud, the parish curate. Chocolat is a recent contribution to the literary stream of Magic Realism.
Harris has indicated that several of the book's characters were influenced by individuals in her life: Her daughter forms the basis for the young Anouk, including her imaginary rabbit, Pantoufle. Harris' strong-willed and independent great-grandmother influenced her portrayal of both Vianne and the elderly Armande.
The most tempting of all sweets becomes the key weapon in a battle of sensual pleasure against disciplined self-denial in this comedy. A mysterious woman named Vianne moves with her young daughter into the small French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, where much of the community's activities are dominated by the local Catholic church. A few days after settling into town, Vianne opens up a confectionery shop across the street from the house of worship—shortly after the beginning of Lent. While the townspeople abstain from worldly pleasures for Lent, Vianne tempts them with unusual and delicious chocolate creations, using her expert touch to create just the right candy to break down each customer's resistance. With every passing day, more and more of Vianne's neighbours succumb to her sinfully delicious treats, but Francise Reynaud, the town's curate, is not the least bit amused: he is eager to see Vianne run out of town before she leads the town into a deeper level of temptation. Vianne, however, is not to be swayed, and with the help of another new arrival in town, a handsome Romani (Gypsy) from Marseille named Roux, she plans a "Grand Festival of Chocolate," to be held on Easter Sunday.
Chocolat is a 2000 film based on the novel Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Adapted by screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs, Chocolat tells the story of a young mother, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives at the fictional, repressed French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter and opens La Chocolaterie Maya, a small chocolaterie. Her chocolate quickly begins to change the lives of the townspeople.
[Zooms in on Reynaud, who is mouthing the speech]
...and at times, the maker of sweet things, mere trifles, for what could seem more harmless, more innocent, than chocolate?