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Joanne Harris. 1999. Read by Diana Bishop. 8 tapes. 10.33 hrs. Soundings, dist. by ISIS 1-86042-548-8. $69.95. Vinyl; plot notes SA

Transient Vianne Rocher and her 6-year-old daughter Anouk breeze into Lansquenet, a little French town. If is carnival rime, when the people celebrate before the deprivations of Lent. Vianne, a lifelong vagabond seeking some stability, opens a chocolate shop across the street from the church. This arouses the ire of the abstemious priest, Renaud, who also suspects she may be a witch. The social dynamics of the town unfold as the people come into the shop, visit with Vianne, and leave with her luscious treats. Renaud's outrage intensifies when Vianne plans a chocolate festival for Easter Sunday. Then a love interest for Vianne enters the story.

The tale (familiar to many from the recent movie of the same title) is told alternately by Vianne and Renaud, who give .discrepant views of the townspeople and the gypsy migrants. Harris's descriptions of chocolate made into its most exquisite forms saturate the senses. Listeners not eager to relate to moral lessons, or who suspect that delectable sweets may not after all be the solution to grief and prejudice, will nevertheless enjoy being in the presence of so much lush chocolate Edna M. Boardman, Bismark, ND
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Author:Boardman, Edna M.
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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