Joanne Harris is the author of Chocolat, the first installment of her Chocolat book series, which consists of three books. The second and third books are The Girl with No Shadow and Peaches for Father Francis. This romance fiction novel was first published during 1999 and was published again during 2000 by Penguin Books.
It tells the riveting story of protagonist Vianne Rocher helping a strict, alienated village of people let down their guard and embrace the sensual pleasures of life, with her exquisite chocolate shop. Yet her contribution to this village is more than a healthy dose of sensuality. Vianne aims to awaken a brighter, more fulfilling perspective on life that empowers the village people to shed their dull ways.
The New York Times Book Review said this novel is "accomplished and delectable... Few readers will be able to resist." The Wall Street Journal said this novel is "...as sweet, rich and utterly satisfying as a fine truffle." The Observer also said "you find yourself unable to stop until you've finished feasting on this delightful, quirky, sensuous story." On the other hand, some Goodreads reviewers didn't enjoy the plot and felt the characters as well as the setting were lacking depth.
Harris is an Anglo-French novelist, cookbook writer, and short story writer. She possesses a diverse taste in literature, which is revealed through her creative works. Her daughter served as a major source of inspiration for writing Chocolat; her personality shines through one of the main characters in the story.
This novel was adapted into a film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp during 2000.