Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Book Review: Chocolat
Book 1 in the Chocolat series
AUTHOR: Joanne Harris
GENRE: Magical realism, drama
PREMISE: A woman and her daughter come to a small town and cause a stir with her chocolate store.
MY REVIEW: This is one of the few instances where I saw the movie before I saw the book. I've seen the movie dozens of times, it's actually one of my favorite films. I don't know why I've put off reading the book for so long. But recently the movie was available on Netflix, it reminded me there was a book, and Joanne Harris has been busy being awesome on Twitter lately so I thought it was high time I read it.
This is one of the few instances where a book hasn't ruined a film for me. True, there are a few things different in the film. But for the most part, they keep the main plot of the story and issues of the story the same. The book also takes care of the one issue of cultural appropriation that I had with the film because in the book, it doesn't exist. Vivienne just has a gift with chocolate and it's never made into the slightly racist stereotyped route that the film went into. I love the movie, but those bits have always bothered me.
The book more or less follows the plot of the movie, with just a little less romance and more character focus. Personally, I found the book's version of the story more realistic then the movie but that generally tends to be the way. Apparently there is a sequel out there. I'm not sure if I'm going to read it or not. We'll see.
WHO SHOULD READ: Chocolat movie fans, Sarah Addison Allen fans, magical realism fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five chocolates