Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's book, "When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin. Suddenly Vianne's shop-cum-cafe means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne's plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a 'Church not Chocolate' battle."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I approached today's book with some trepidation because I have watched the movie - or attempted - and I disliked it so much that I couldn't even make it all the way through the movie. But the book has been in my to-read stack for quite some time now (I bought it before attempting to watch the movie) and so I decided to go ahead and give it a try anyway. And I'm so glad that I did, because I really liked the book. I generally like the book better than the movie anyway, but it's rare for me to love a book and hate the movie (the one exception that comes to mind being the 3rd Anne of Green Gables movie that was so bad I actually wrote a letter to the movie studio to complain.)

  • I enjoyed today's book from the very first page. It was the kind of book that I felt like I was gently sinking down into - and I very quickly got lost in it to the point where I accidentally burned myself while making popcorn because I couldn't put the book down. I'm considering the burn a blogging scar and wearing it proudly - although I am being a bit dramatic (what a shock) with that scar bit as it's not visible to anyone that I haven't directly pointed it out to, and even then I think they are only indulging my taste for drama . . . humoring me like a five year old child who has just stood on a chair in a crowded room and sung for everyone.

  • The one downside to the book is that the whole time I was reading it I wanted chocolate. I did not plan ahead, and so I ended up having to make a chocolate run around 5:30 this evening. Don't make this same mistake dear readers, if you read this book, make sure you have a steady supply of chocolate on hand or you will deeply regret it. And then I went to the health food store and discovered that my favorite brand of sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate bars have been discontinued and I was forced to use a chocolate energy bar as my back up plan. It was as unsatisfying as it sounds. Perhaps the next time I read this book - and there will be a next time - I will make homemade candy so that I can get into the spirit of the old-fashioned made-by-hand chocolate experience.