Thursday, 14 June 2012

Joanne Harris - Peaches for Monsieur le Cure

A welcome return to Lasquenet, the small town in rural France that was the setting for Joanne Harris's remarkable number one bestseller Chocolat.

Vianne Rocher is called back to Lasquenet by a letter from beyond the grave...

Eight years ago a woman and child arrived in the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and all kinds of trouble ensued. That woman was Vianne Rocher, heroine of Joanne Harris’s Chocolat, who for the past four years has been living on a houseboat on the Seine.
But now Vianne is back in Lansquenet, summoned by a letter from beyond the grave and a warning that her old adversary the Curé may be in need of help - as indeed he is. For while Lansquenet seems at first unaltered, a thriving Muslim community now exists on the banks of the Tannes, and conflict is brewing. Once more, a woman and her child are at its centre: a stranger whose niqab and froideur combine to cause discord and division. Who is she? And can the Curé really be guilty of a hate crime against her?
Lansquenet, reflects Vianne, is ‘like the sundew that draws in the fly with its many honeyed strands’ - which is a good description of this expertly crafted, typically mouthwatering novel, too. Harris sketches the culture clash deftly, but her real concern is whether others are as free as Vianne to shape their fate and ‘call the wind’.

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