Peaches for Father Francis: A Novel

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The tantalizing sequel to the blockbuster New York Times bestseller Chocolat

Even before it was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris’s Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate. Now, at last, Chocolat’s heroine returns to the beautiful French village of Lansquenet in another, equally beguiling tale.

When Vianne ...

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Peaches for Monsieur le Curé: A Novel

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Overview

The tantalizing sequel to the blockbuster New York Times bestseller Chocolat

Even before it was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris’s Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate. Now, at last, Chocolat’s heroine returns to the beautiful French village of Lansquenet in another, equally beguiling tale.

When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to return to Lansquenet, where she once owned a chocolate shop and learned the meaning of home. But returning to one’s past can be a dangerous pursuit, and Vianne and her daughters find the beautiful French village changed in unexpected ways: women veiled in black, the scent of spices in the air, and—facing the church—a minaret. Most surprising of all, her old nemesis, Francis Reynaud, desperately needs her help. Can Vianne work her magic once again?

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
…it is worth immersing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Lansquenet's narrow 200-year-old streets as they open to newcomers. In Peaches for Father Francis, Harris effectively updates the Chocolat recipe, using the metaphor of food to make the weighty issues of immigration and religious tolerance more palatable.
—Nancy Robertson
Publishers Weekly
Harris returns to the setting and heroine that will be familiar to readers of her bestselling Chocolat series. Vianne Rocher is summoned back to the village of Lansquenet by a friend who is seeking to smooth tensions between the Christian community and new Muslim immigrants, bringing Vianne face to face with nemesis Fr. Francis Reynaud, the target of much of the immigrants' resentment. As Vianne spends time in the village, she becomes fascinated by Inès Bencharki, who, beneath her veil, is a flashpoint for discord between the communities. The more that Vianne investigates, the more puzzling seem the events happening in the village. And when people start dying, tensions soar, meaning it will take a miracle, or perhaps just an enchanted chocolatier, to save the town (again). Readers familiar with the Rochers will welcome the newest installment of their story, particularly as it addresses contemporary problems in a familiar setting. While new readers may be surprised by incongruous glimpses of magic, they will appreciate this sensitively told tale. Agent: Peter Robinson, RCW Literary. (Oct.)
Library Journal
With Harris's beloved chocolatière, Vianne Rocher, we return to the French village of Lansquenet, where Vianne first opened up shop in Harris's multimillion-best-selling Chocolat. Now the town is changed, with veiled women walking the streets and a minaret rising across the river, and—big surprise!—fierce, resistant Father Francis Reynaud needs Vianne's help. With a four-city tour.
Library Journal
In this sequel to Harris's wonderful Chocolat and The Girl with No Shadow, Vianne Rocher and her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, return to the village of Lansquenet after receiving a mysterious letter that alludes to brewing troubles and asks Vianne for help. A growing Muslim community has taken over the derelict shanties across the river, filled the air with the scent of exotic spices, and built a minaret. The traditionalist French residents are disturbed and afraid. Vianne's chocolate shop, turned into a school for Muslim girls, has been torched and Father Francis Reynaud accused of the crime. Once her nemesis, Father Francis is at the heart of the turmoil that is fragmenting the village. Is he the real villain? Can Vianne work her magic again and reunite the community? Harris's skill at vibrantly depicting the charm and eccentricity of rural French life is at the heart of this delightful novel. VERDICT Harris has used this story as a plea for tolerance and understanding, but her message is not the least pedantic. Fans of the first two books will delight in becoming reacquainted with Vianne, her dashing man, Roux, and her clever daughters. [See Prepub Alert, 4/16/12.]—Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Eight years after the events in Harris' best-selling Chocolat (1999, etc.), her heroine is summoned back to the French village she once revitalized with confections. Vianne Rocher is living in Paris on a houseboat with her husband, Roux, and daughters, Anouk and Rosette, when a posthumous letter arrives from Armande, the crusty old lady who had been her ally in upsetting the straight-laced mores of Lansquenet. This tiny hamlet once more needs Vianne's intervention, Armande writes, without specifying exactly what is amiss. When Vianne arrives, she is surprised to learn the person most in need of rescue is her erstwhile antagonist, the tightly wound, chocolate-hating Monsieur le Curé Francis Reynaud. As parish pastor, Reynaud has been supplanted by a young, smug priest who wants to turn Mass into a PowerPoint presentation and replace the church's old oaken pews with plastic chairs. The Bishop has not been pleased since rumors started circulating that Reynaud set fire to a school for Muslim girls housed in Vianne's former candy shop. Reynaud is suspect because he clashed with the Imam of Les Marauds, Lansquenet's Muslim neighborhood, over the installation of a minaret complete with call to prayer. The school's founder, Inès Bencharki, whose brother, Karim, is the Imam's son-in-law, has, along with her charismatic sibling, introduced Muslim fundamentalism into previously free-wheeling Les Marauds, requiring her pupils to veil themselves. Vianne is drawn into the fray when she takes in Alyssa, the Imam's granddaughter, whom Reynaud saved from drowning herself. As they forge a gingerly alliance, Reynaud and Vianne suspect that Inès and Karim are hiding something, and those secrets, when revealed, are shocking. While Harris' loving attention to the details of cuisine, French and Moroccan, and the daily lives of the eccentric village characters conveys a certain charm, the indolent pace of the novel doesn't accelerate until the puzzle explodes with incandescent intensity near the end. The patient reader, however, will be amply rewarded. A slow buildup to a breathtaking finish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670026364
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread Award-nominated Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp) and eleven other bestselling novels. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was sixteen, is currently studying Old Norse and lives with her husband and daughter in Yorkshire, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    I loved this book!

    I read "Chocolat" years ago and loved the characters, especially Vianne. I eventually found "The Girl With No Shadow" and was equally impressed with that story, and now "Peaches for Father Francis" - I loved them all. Just the right amountn of "magic" and a feel good book as well. Vianne always has a way of helping those around her. I have other books by this author in my "wish list" and hope to get to them soon.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Fun and suspenseful read!

    I really liked this book, the third in the series that started with Chocolat. It's a very engaging and fun read (without being mindless or frothy). It's also more suspenseful than I expected. Some very dramatic surprises near the end, too! I'd recommend this to anyone who liked Chocolat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Another fine novel by Joanne Harris

    The continuing saga of the "psychic" chocolatier and her family. Cannot wait for the next episode. I am wondering if she will return to her old store and old friends. Very entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Full of family stories, an education about Muslims, and a mysterious woman whose secret will have you guessing until the end.

    Joanne Harris revisits the characters from her hit book Chocolat, years after they moved to Paris. Her children, Roux, Father Francis and many other characters are back in the French town of Lasquenet. The town has changed a lot since Vivienne moved away, and she gets to know many of the new Muslim families. There is a mystery woman with a big secret that will have you guessing until the end. Very well written as usual. I can't believe that Ms. Harris is not wildly popular in the US. The magic in her books is a real treasure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Excellent novel. Nook edition defective.

    There is no good reason for an e-book that costs more than a paperback to have less editing and proofreading than a printed copy would. Distracting typographical errors, lower-case instead of capitals at the beginning of sentences, odd spaces in the middle of the page-- There is no excuse.

    Buy the book in print.

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  • Posted February 2, 2013

    I loved Chocolat and that French Village it took place in . I wa

    I loved Chocolat and that French Village it took place in . I was a little unsure of this book holding up to my love of the first book. But it did. This book is as good as Chocolat. Alot of the same characters and some great new ones.

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  • Posted January 28, 2013

    finally finished father francis' saga...lots and lots of charact

    finally finished father francis' saga...lots and lots of characters in this read...found myself flipping back to recall just who was who and related to whom....good story definitely a recommended read...descriptive and detailed..sometimes repetitive, but enjoyable and quite informative multiculturally...it did hold my interest but toward the end of the 400 plus pages i got tired of it and wanted to get to the bottom line....period

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

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