Meeting up with an old friend like Vianne Rocher is always a pleasure and if, like me, you are a fan of Harris’s Chocolat series this book is unmissable – even if you do find yourself hunting through the cupboard for some chocolate goodness while you are reading it. Not a great choice for a diet week! As always the descriptions of the characters, the chocolate making process and life in the small provincial town is beyond compare. All are fully fleshed real people with flaws and their own distinct attributes.
Back in the town of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes the local people have now accepted Vianne and her little family as one of their own. The chocolaterie is part of their local way of life. Francis Reynaud, the local priest, who was always an enemy of Vianne is now her confidante. Life is good with the river people and younger daughter Rosette is growing up fast. When Narcisse, a local farmer, dies, the winds of change start blowing. A surprise inheritance and a shocking deathbed confession threaten to upend the peaceful little town.
If you haven’t read any of the other books in the series I do recommend reading them in order – just for the sheer pleasure of it. That said there is no reason why you couldn’t read this as a standalone story. You may not understand why Rosette is special or the relationships with Roux or Reynaud but it works just as it is.
UK Publication date: Apr 4 2019. 368 pages.