“I sell dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations to bring down a multitude of saints crashing among the hazels and nougatines
I opened this book, and I drifted away into a world of senses; a certain prickling on my tongue, a mouthwatering smell in my nose, and the sound of a magical wind of change ringing in my ears. Vivid impressions; rich and dark like the chocolate Viviane makes, drew me into a world of tempting delights and gluttonous cravings. I turned the pages fast, lusting for more, and I fell deeper and deeper in love with Harris' heavenly blend of magic realism and insightful character portraits.
Reading "Chocolat" is an overpowering experience. Harris' uses a breathtaking amount of adjectives, causing the reader to actually live
in the novel for a short time. The writing flows gracefully and every word is so impossibly tangible, that you can almost reach out and touch the smooth surface of the melting chocolate.
Some parts of the book almost felt like a fairy-tale with odd elements of wonder and mystique pushing their way into the little village of Lansquenet. The magic is always present, hiding beneath the crumbling surface of the villagers' everydaylife, making everything a bit lovelier.
“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.
Normally I don't do well with the shifting tones of different narrators - I always end up liking one more than the other, skipping entire chapters to get to the character I like the best. I'm afraid, that I'm not always a very patient reader.
In "Chocolat" however, this was no problem at all. The shift between Vivianes soft voice and Father Reynaud's strict denial resulted in such a strong contrast, and I was interested to read, compare and speculate of their differences. I would never have figured Father Reynaud out on my own.
The ending of the story was bittersweet like the taste of the darkest chocolate, lingering on my tongue and in my mind for the longest time. Perhaps I will need to pick up the next book in the series as well, just to find out where the wind blew Viviane to next. Until then I will just watch the movie one more time, eat a bit of chocolate, open the window and listen to the sound of changes flying in the air.