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When Peaches for Monsieur le Cur landed on my doorstep for review I wasn t particularly enthusiastic I remembered seeing the movie Chocolat quite some years ago purely because Johnny Depp starred and not being overly impressed, however with a few pages of this novel I was hooked and hated having to put it down, even briefly.Peaches for Monsieur le Cur is the third book in the Chocolat series, following on from Chocolat and The Girl with No Shadow Vianne, Roux, Anouk and Rosette are living When Peaches for Monsieur le Cur landed on my doorstep for review I wasn t particularly enthusiastic I remembered seeing the movie Chocolat quite some years ago purely because Johnny Depp starred and not being overly impressed, however with a few pages of this novel I was hooked and hated having to put it down, even briefly.Peaches for Monsieur le Cur is the third book in the Chocolat series, following on from Chocolat and The Girl with No Shadow Vianne, Roux, Anouk and Rosette are living in Paris when a letter arrives from Luc Clairmont within which is a letter from Armande, despite her deaththan 8 years before In it, Armande pleads for Vianne to return to Lansquenet with the conviction that that the townspeople need her once again With some trepidation, Vianne and her daughters do as Armande asks, only to discover a village divided and her old rival, Monsieur Reynaud le Cur in trouble The wind is restless as are the people and this time, Vianne s magic may not be enough to unite the people of Lansquenet.Joanne Harris conjures the town of Lansquenet and its people so wonderfully, I was immediately entranced by the novel I enjoyed being introduced to the author s versions of the characters, admiring Vianne s spirit and desire to create peace between the French and growing community of les Maghr bins Muslims who have established themselves at the fringes of the town I even came to like Monsieur le Cur , despite his stiff necked ways.Peaches for Monsieur le Cur sensitively explores themes such as religious difference, tolerance, change and the meaning of home The war between the Catholic French and Muslims is portrayed without disrespecting either religion, as Vianne tries to determine what is at the heart of the conflict For Vianne the changes in Lansquent are disorientating at first, not only the development of Les Marauds, but also the changes in the people she once knew so well, like Josephine and Reynaud Vianne s experiences in Lansquanet forces her to consider if in always seeking change, Vianne has simply been running away.It is food in general, rather than Vianne s chocolates, that unites the people of this story, from the peaches growing in the garden of Armande s house where Vianne and her daughters are living, to the feasts served at sundown in Les Marauds Harris s descriptions of the food, the sight, smell and taste is wonderfully evocative I was surprised at the rather fundamental differences between Harris characters and those in the movie of Chocolat, for example Reynaud is the town mayor in the movie, but a priest in the book Co incidentally, Chocolat was shown on television the night after I finished Peaches for Monsieur le Cure so I watched and was disappointed with the lack of whimsy and nuance in the film though, Johnny Depp sigh.Peaches for Monsieur le Cur titled Peaches for Father Frances in the US is a delicious read I adored the subtle touch of magical realism, the lyricism of the writing, the fascinating characters and engrossing story and plan to read the first two books as soon as I can Charming, delightful, magical, Peaches for Monsieur le Cur is a wonderful read.NB Australian Release Date June 1st Random House Australia Oh I do love Joanne Harris Actuallyto the point I love Vianne Rocher How can this book not be a resounding success When it starts with someone once told me that, in France alone, a quarter of a million letters are delivered every year to the dead What she didn t tell me is that sometimes the dead write back now if that doesn t grab you, there s something wrong with you Things have changed in Lansquenet It s been eight years since Vianne opened her chocolate shop At the urging of a Oh I do love Joanne Harris Actuallyto the point I love Vianne Rocher How can this book not be a resounding success When it starts with someone once told me that, in France alone, a quarter of a million letters are delivered every year to the dead What she didn t tell me is that sometimes the dead write back now if that doesn t grab you, there s something wrong with you Things have changed in Lansquenet It s been eight years since Vianne opened her chocolate shop At the urging of a letter written by Armande and the changing winds she returns to the village It s a very different one, in the middle of a war between Muslim and Christian, the old Catholic church and the new, traditional and modern, freedom and repression, men and women, parents and children But everything is not what is seems Between Vianne and Father Reynauld, the truth will be found A delightful, easy, engaging read with characters we ve met before and new ones to keep us guessing, Joanne Harris is a wonderful author Hopefully she writes again about Vianne and Roux Perhaps a book about Anouk or Rosette, particularly the perspective of the latter Such unusual and interesting characters, there s a story in this book for everyone Oh, and of course, there s chocolate For me, the problem with that book is similar to one with Blueeyedboy there is not enough of the story Actually, I think that in BEB there was no story to speak of, only inventions for the sake of them, and here there could well have been, should the narration bestraightforward and not so struggling for being intriguing , even if that means improbable character or plot development As to the protagonist, I d rather had someone new with all my love for Vianne, her story was fully exhau For me, the problem with that book is similar to one with Blueeyedboy there is not enough of the story Actually, I think that in BEB there was no story to speak of, only inventions for the sake of them, and here there could well have been, should the narration bestraightforward and not so struggling for being intriguing , even if that means improbable character or plot development As to the protagonist, I d rather had someone new with all my love for Vianne, her story was fully exhausted in Lollipop Shoes, and here it was just squeezed dry, with Roux becoming a totally cardboard figure And the style is simply grating, what with endless semicolons, rhetoric questions, overuse of still and yet All this makes me very sad, because Harris used to by one of my favorite writers But one thing makes me angry namely, the misuse of serious social and cultural problems raised in the novel I love fiction, and of course it isthan proper for fiction to speak of very serious matters, but this book manipulates them to fit the scheme of good people making food not war I am fascinated by the character of Vianne Rocher, not least because I live with her real counterpart And rarely, at least in my experience, has an author created a character who so evidently has a life of her own But, if Vianne seems to have channelled her way into Joanne Harris writing, she has also brought it to greater and greater heights Peaches for Monsieur le Curis the third book in the Chocolat series, yet without a doubt the most exquisite The first few pages are sheer poetry, I am fascinated by the character of Vianne Rocher, not least because I live with her real counterpart And rarely, at least in my experience, has an author created a character who so evidently has a life of her own But, if Vianne seems to have channelled her way into Joanne Harris writing, she has also brought it to greater and greater heights Peaches for Monsieur le Curis the third book in the Chocolat series, yet without a doubt the most exquisite The first few pages are sheer poetry, transporting the reader in a magical way, with just enough literary artifice and a happy absence of literary pretension comparable, I would suggest, to the opening of Capote s Breakfast at Tiffany s This, without a doubt, is the kind of writing I would like to be able to do if I were a novelist but, since I m not, it simply has me on my knees The plot is ingeniously crafted I tend to become impatient with novels that introduce extraneous plotlines that lead nowhere, or that end in an underwhelming manner it seems a poor return for the effort of reading However, in this respect, Peaches for Monsieur le Curis as tight as a good thriller it pays to attend to the small details In addition Joanne Harris shows considerable psychological insight in the details from which she constructs her characters They are beautifully observed and mirror interesting aspects of ourselves Chocolat took place during the fast of Lent, and explored the theme of sensuality versus abstinence For Vianne s return to Lansquenet sous Tannes Harris chose to set the story during Ramadan, wittily echoing the first book while simultaneously exploring some of the big differences between Catholic and Muslim sensibilities and in her sensuous descriptions of food, Moroccan and French, Harris will have your mouth watering Once again Vianne and Pere Reynaud are the principal protagonists But this time Monsieur le Cur , despite his ongoing struggle with acceptance and tolerance, is not the villain he is, instead, the rather misunderstood victim and Vianne his initially unwitting helper It is a clever plot twist And one that allows Harris to play with our sensibilities, catching us off balance as she shows how in forming quick judgments of him we are actually not all that different from him.This is a book from a writer who is at the top of her game, and I heartily recommend it Guys I m throwing a chocolate party All invited Only two rules You should bring a fictional character as a date and that shouldn t be Sirius He s mine I ll make my super duper brownies Candy supply is from Wonka from Chocolate factory Vianne is making her special chocolates Missis Weasley is cooking I ll try to negotiate with Weasley s Wizard Wheezes for some fun stuff, but don t promise anything I almost wanted to have Peeves, but then thought better of it I don t want all of you to g Guys I m throwing a chocolate party All invited Only two rules You should bring a fictional character as a date and that shouldn t be Sirius He s mine I ll make my super duper brownies Candy supply is from Wonka from Chocolate factory Vianne is making her special chocolates Missis Weasley is cooking I ll try to negotiate with Weasley s Wizard Wheezes for some fun stuff, but don t promise anything I almost wanted to have Peeves, but then thought better of it I don t want all of you to go home covered in chocolate as fondu fruits.Why I was here Oh yeah, Peaches for Monsieur Le Cur was wonderful I almost cried Second favourite from series after first one I m still not sure I really wanted anythingto be added to Chocolat remembering my second read of The Lollipop Shoes leaves me distinctly unimpressed, however compelling Joanne Harris makes her writing while you re actually reading it but as usual I was bewitched for a while I m not entirely certain about the choice of topic it s always tempting for white women to take on the subject of the niqab, and of the position of women in Muslim communities I even understand the temptation I m still not sure I really wanted anythingto be added to Chocolat remembering my second read of The Lollipop Shoes leaves me distinctly unimpressed, however compelling Joanne Harris makes her writing while you re actually reading it but as usual I was bewitched for a while I m not entirely certain about the choice of topic it s always tempting for white women to take on the subject of the niqab, and of the position of women in Muslim communities I even understand the temptation But I m not sure it s a good thing when we need those women to tell their own stories if we want to understand.Still, the issue of race and religion in France is a current one, and Joanne Harris put her finger right on it And Vianne was her enchanting self, and even Reynaud was, this time, a character you could sympathise with and even come to love a little The magic of food and the importance of community were well portrayed, as usual, and Harris usual gift for describing said food and making you want to eat it was on display.Enjoyable enough to read, but Perhaps best not thought about too much Author Joanne Harris shows readers what often and unfortunately causes division between differing cultures and spiritual traditions, then brilliantly unites them with very real, very human, similarities.Pour yourself a hot cuppa tea and settle in because as mystical, magical, and decadent as Chocolat, every page turn in Peaches for Monsieur le Cur is equivalent to opening an exquisite jar of sun infused peach jam. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I ll admit, I love Joanne Harris I love Vianne Rocher, Anouk and Roux Of course, Roux This was a five star read as soon as I heard about it And it doesn t disappoint, for the most part Vianne gets a letter from a dead Armande, asking her to get back to Lansquenet For a visit she says Vianne wants to go very much, but Roux is strangely reluctant So she goes with her two daughters, unprepared to see the changes that Lansquenet has gone through during her absence There are now Muslims in L I ll admit, I love Joanne Harris I love Vianne Rocher, Anouk and Roux Of course, Roux This was a five star read as soon as I heard about it And it doesn t disappoint, for the most part Vianne gets a letter from a dead Armande, asking her to get back to Lansquenet For a visit she says Vianne wants to go very much, but Roux is strangely reluctant So she goes with her two daughters, unprepared to see the changes that Lansquenet has gone through during her absence There are now Muslims in Les Marauds, and they don t get along with folks from Lansquenet Their girl children wear forbidding niqabs, and they seem to be in the sway of a charismatic woman called In s Bencharki What s , Vianne s old nemesis Francis Reynaud has trouble of his own He s been dismissed from the curate pending an inquiry about a fire set to In s school which is Vianne s old chocolaterie His successor is a young man with too many teeth and a penchant for PowerPoint He needs Vianne s help very badly So she stays.Other reviews have called this a brave book, and I agree Harris treads a very fine line her heroine is obviously on the side of mysticism and magic, and the people she is helping are both traditionalists of different religions She argues for both liberalism and traditionalism, and I think the idea is for a middle ground Pere Renaud s mirror image in Les Marauds old Mahjoubi, is an eccentric who argues against niqab for women and reads Victor Hugo in spare time His successor, his son Sa d, islike the Cur , strict and forbidding Obviously, old Mahjoubi is the one who gets our sympathy on that end Typically, Harris also has rather sordid themes of child molestation and rape along with the main theme of tolerance.I loved the new characters Since Armande is dead, Harris cleverly brings in another similar old lady called Omi She s very old, cares two hoots for the fasting of Ramadan, and is always ready with a coconut macaroon And I loved the new kids I loved Rosette, Vianne s child with Roux, who hardly talks but is a little bundle of energy There s Pilou Jos phine s son, who is awesome There is Du a, In s daughter, who is nothing like her mother And there is Maya, who becomes Rosette s close friend There are amusing situations involving a dog, a nervous dog that bites and barks his head off for apparently no reason , a cat who lives in three homes and has four owners and is called Otto, Tati, Hazrat and Sputnik respectively For a town the size of Lansquenet, you d think there would becats And I loved Monsieur le Cur He was the character with the best story arc, he was wonderful.So what was my problem with this Nothing much happens for a good chunk of the story It s understandable, there are so many new characters to introduce But still It takes a while for the story to get going Harris has heavy themes, but the end is a band aid solution applied to the whole mess The villain ruins lives of people who are still living and paying for it, and yet, at the end they celebrate with a huge party What about Du a She was threatened by Karim, put on fire, saved by In s and Roux, In s dying at the end Would she not be traumatized What about Alyssa Karim s sister in law who was raped by him What about Sonia She married Karim and is pregnant with his child What about Sa d Karim made a fool of him and raped his daughter None of this is addressed at all Nope, there has to be a party.The old characters Anouk was just there Her place has been taken over by Rosette Which is fine, but we are treated to a number of her thoughts without resolution Roux What was the point He could not have been there at all For three quarters of the book he s absent with Vianne suspecting him to be the father of Jos phine s child Note that she never bothers to ask And then she knows he s not, and he comes back, Vianne still doesn t trust him We also have no idea what he s thinking For all the pages wasted on whether he was or was not involved with Jos phine, he s a very trivial character Jos phine She s slinks around Vianne, because she thinks she has disappointed her by having Paul s son And there s some unresolved bull between her and Roux, and her and wait for it Reynaud Nope, it s not resolved Instead, an easy way out Paul sees the light when he s told he s Pilou s papa Uh huh.Those are nothing compared to Vianne She gets everything wrong And she s still helping somehow She pretends to know everything, and to anyone who calls her out, she says she doesn t pretend to know everything Was she this arrogant in Chocolat I don t remember She goes on and on about how she couldn t trust Roux, and even if finds out she can trust Roux, she cannot trust him Because, he s apparently not hers to keep Right Vianne, did you think he s an object to own all this time She has the restless need to run away with the wind, but she says it s Roux who can t settle Roux, who stayed in Lansquenet for four yearsthan her Roux, who is a gypsy, but has settled with her in the Seine in Paris for fourDoes she stay in Lansquenet in the end Her kids want her to stay But, I m pretty sure she s too selfish for that This go around I hated Vianne She remained unchanged in the eight years that she has been away She s learned nothing Going where the wind blows is endearing for only so long.Still 3 stars for nostalgia and Monsieur le Cur (DOWNLOAD EPUB) ⚣ Peaches for Father Francis Ò The tantalizing sequel to the blockbuster New York Times bestseller ChocolatEven before it was adapted into the Oscar nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris s Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate Now, at last, Chocolat s heroine returns to the beautiful French village of Lansquenet in another, equally beguiling taleWhen Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to return to Lansquenet, where she once owned a chocolate shop and learned the meaning of home But returning to one s past can be a dangerous pursuit, and Vianne and her daughters find the beautiful French village changed in unexpected ways women veiled in black, the scent of spices in the air, and facing the church a minaret Most surprising of all, her old nemesis, Francis Reynaud, desperately needs her help Can Vianne work her magic once again I am glad I read if only so I can now say that Joanne Harris is now out of my system I have definitely outgrown her writing This book was an extreme disappointment The plot was an interesting take on the Moslem issue, and could have been very powerful If only the voices had been right and actually had some substance Vianne Rocher came across as a busy body and Father Francis as a pathetic wimp in this sequel to Chocolat Roux was a non entity The characters were superficial and the story t I am glad I read if only so I can now say that Joanne Harris is now out of my system I have definitely outgrown her writing This book was an extreme disappointment The plot was an interesting take on the Moslem issue, and could have been very powerful If only the voices had been right and actually had some substance Vianne Rocher came across as a busy body and Father Francis as a pathetic wimp in this sequel to Chocolat Roux was a non entity The characters were superficial and the story tried to hard to make everything right Even the tragic scenes stimulated little emotion This was a murder mystery but so wrapped in scented oils and chocolate and peaches that the story was sent drifting to the windsearly on in the book I persevered but honestly it was a waste of time Bye bye Joanne Harris you have lost the plot