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on 5 November 2016
In this sequel to Chocolat, Vianne Rocher returns, after eight years in Paris, to the small, French village of Lansquenet, to where she has been recalled by a voice from the past, informing her that someone there needs her help. We meet again many of the former residents, but also a more recent community of Muslim families, whose presence is threatening the peace and harmony of the village, not all of whom welcome the newcomers.

I consider Joanne Harris one of our finest novelists ever, who manages to introduce so seamlessly elements of the bizarre and the occult into a story of present-day conflict, worry, doubt and love as few others can. With her usual charm and talent she entertains us, while at times keeping us on the edge of our seat in suspense. However, I was just a little disappointed at the denouement.
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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2014
I've been a fan of Joanne Harris for many years now (though not of her newer Young Adult fantasy series), and another book in the Chocolat series is a treat. I did wish I'd read Lollipop Shoes (The Girl with No Shadow) before reading this book though, as there were definitely some gaps caused by jumping straight from Chocolat. Unfortunately I didn't have time to read both before the discussion.

The subject matter is highly topical, particularly in France, where it has been declared illegal to wear a face veil, or niqab. The sleepy village of Lansquenet, where Vianne had opened her chocolaterie eight years before, is now home to a growing population of North African Muslims. A community has sprung up on the far side of the river and animosity has developed on both sides. A mysterious letter draws Vianne back, along with her, now teenage daughter, Anouk and her younger sister, Rosette. Meanwhile, Roux awaits for their return on a houseboat in Paris.

The animosity between Vianne and Father Reynaud is still there, but he has changed and no longer has the power over the village that he once had. Several other familiar faces take their place in the narrative, like old friends returning.
Eight year old Rosette is a lively addition to the Roche family, she is such a character, and she plays an important role in events. The descriptions of the village are just beautiful and the whole flavour of France is wonderfully evoked.
There are misunderstandings to be tackled and a question lurking in the past that must be addressed, and Vianne stays longer than she had originally planned.

I was surprised when my book group slated this book, as I'd enjoyed it, maybe not quite as much as Chocolat, but it was a solid 4 stars. They criticised it for being too unbelievable, but I think you expect to need a little imagination for Joanne Harris books.
Ms Harris handles the racial tension with a deft hand, raising a subject that is rarely written about in contemporary novels. This seems a natural progression for an author who wrote about Catholicism in Holy Fools, and she handles it with discretion.

I sincerely hope this is not the last we have seen of Vianne and the little village of Lansquenet. The author will be at the Dubai Literary Festival in March, hopefully she will have good news :)

Also read:
Chocolat (5 stars)
Blackberry Wine (5 stars)
Sleep, Pale Sister (4 stars)
Gentlemen and Players (5 stars)
Runemarks (2 stars)
Coastliners (5 stars)
Holy Fools (4 stars)
Five Quarters of the Orange (5 stars)
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on 25 August 2012
We return to Vianne, Roux, Anouk and Rosette 4 years after the end of Lollipop Shoes, settled on their houseboat in Paris. It is a letter, sent from Armande, dead for 8 years that sends Vianne and the girls back to Lasquenet where again her help is needed.

And so we return to that familiar village. Some things have hardly changed, Caro and her cronies, the petty neighbourly squabbles and of course dear old Francis Reynaud. However, tensions are running high between the villagers and the Moslem community which has taken over Les Marauds. Once they lived in harmony but something has changed. And that is where Vianne comes in.

I absolutely loved this book, there is an intimacy which makes you feel that you too are sitting in the kitchen helping make peach jam or watching the children run and play in the village. And also there is a subtle difference, this time Vianne is not the outsider or the one in trouble. With her generosity, non judgemental way and kindness she alone can understand and maybe reconcile their differences. But at what cost to herself? Is it better not to look back?

The story again is told by Vianne and Francis Reynaud. Poor old Francis, so socially inept, I found myself laughing out loud as he is so funny although doesn't realise it!

BUT the ending! If Ms Harris you ever read these reviews while shopping on Amazon, please please don't leave It like that! Please tell us what happens to Vianne and her family. She now feels like an old friend and i'd really like to keep in touch with her.
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on 12 March 2018
A nice tolerant look at a french village touched by the fear of the other. full of humour, fantasy & generosity it cheers one up, particularly when there are times when even a country lover finds life a bit hard to take. Good to remember that every paradise has a snake somewhere in the lovely green grass. J Harris is a brillant writer for me. She really knows rural France, as few other writers do.
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on 15 July 2012
Vianne and her two daughters are called back to lansquenet were we are reacquainted with old friends from the previous novel chocolat and Lollipop shoes. The characters are as vivid as they were eight years ago and Joanne Harris transports the reader back to the streets of Lansquenet with the smells of the river , the cafe and the sound of the church bells, but there are new comers who bring change, mystery and upset to sleepy lansquenet. As the story unfolds Vianne struggles to interpret the tarot cards and the reader is carried along with anticipation as many mysteries unfold.

Vianne Is drawn to Lansquenet but will she settle or will the winds of change call again.
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on 9 October 2013
After Chocolate and the Lollipop Shoes this is the third book following Vianne Rocher and her daughters. If you loved the first two books you will love this one. The story revisits Lansquenet 8 years after Chocolate and much has changed. It is once again full of taste and smell and impossible to put down.
The novel deals with the subject of religious tolerance, a very current issue of our time, and how things and lives change. It is a smart read and simply magical touching the senses as we know the world of Vianne, Anouk and Rosette to do.
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on 11 March 2016
Joanne Harris is a master raconteur who weaves the most luxurious tapestry of characters and events. A gourmand’s feast to delight the most discerning of palates, her stories are molten poetry just like the chocolate she invokes in her tales. I am desolated to have reached the end of Peaches for Monsieur le Curé, my only consolation is that Vianne’s story is surely far from over.
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on 14 April 2013
Peaches for Monsieur le Curé outlived all my expectations. Chocolat is one of my all-time favourite books, and even though I really enjoyed The Lollipop Shoes, I am still not sure if I find it a worthy follow-up of the first book or not. Peaches, however, is more than worthy of following in the footsteps of the magic that is Chocolat.

The first of many improvements is, of course, the return to Lansquenet-Sous-Tannes. This, I think, is where the previous book went wrong, because the Paris setting took a lot away of that what made the storyline of Chocolat so special. Vianne and her daughters return to Lansquenet, and even though many things never change in the picturesque village, some aspects have changed village life beyond recognition.

I hadn't read any summaries of the book before I started reading it, so other than the fact that Vianne was going back, I had no idea of what kind of storyline the book would pursue, and what kind of themes the story would hold.

I am a big fan of books with a Middle Eastern theme, so I was pleasantly surprised that the story was heavily influenced by this. Joanne Harris tackles a lot of sensitive issues such as multiculturalism, Islam, the wearing of the veil and niqab etcetera, and she does so in the most gentle of ways, and with the utmost respect for all parties involved.

Vianne is unchanged in the way that she is still an outsider, and still doesn't adhere to any of the social codes. Whereas other villagers stay away, she goes out of her way to make contact with the people in Les Marauds, and tries to unravel the mystery of the conflict between the French and les Maghrébins. Yet she isn't the same woman who left Lansquenet eight years ago. She is now a mother of a young girl and a teenager, and she's no longer unattached like she used to be. She worries about Roux, who stayed behind in Paris, and how her returning to Lansquenet might change their relationship.

As always, food plays an important role in the storyline. This time the focus isn't so much on the chocolate making, but more on food in general. The story shows that a love for food is universal, and transcends all boundaries, be it ethnic, cultural, or religious. Food is an important factor that binds all the villagers together in the end, and as always Vianne's chocolates and their seemingly magical properties have something to do with it.

Peaches for Monsieur le Curé is an absolute gem of a book, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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on 26 June 2012
Peaches for Monsieur le Curé

I have always enjoyed Joanne Harris's books, and look forward to reading anything that she has written. This book was no exception, and I would even say that she has surpassed herself this time. I loved the books with Vianne as the main character, and was surprised when she was ressurected once more. However, it really works yet again, with a completely fresh storyline which draws you in so much, that you could almost be a witness to the events taking place. A great ending, leaving you wondering what could happen in the future, and thinking "please return, Vianne". I would also like to follow her daughters in their later years, and see the direction that they take in life.

I bought this book on Kindle, so my friends and family are just going to have to buy their own copies! (I am sure that they will).
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on 7 July 2012
Another excellent book in the now trilogy of Chocolat .This book recaptures essence of Viviane's vulnerabilities and strengths. Vivianne returns to Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with Anouk now 15 and her daughter to Roux ,Rosette who is 6 years old and like her mother and sister is full of magic.Vivianne has come to help her old enemy Monsieur le Curé .
Joanne Harris has once again brought to life the characters both old and new.The old character feel as if your meeting an old friend,but then you realise its been a while since we last visited Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and people have new secrets and changed with age.The new characters stories intertwine very well and develop with in the book.This book could be read alone without having read Chocolat or Lollipop Shoes.However I would recommend if you want some truly magical books to escape in read them all.
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