To be honest, when I first started reading it I wasn't sure how I felt about the style of writing. I'm sure you've heard me mention it before, but sometimes I can find the style of writing to be a barrier between me and the story, and I thought that this might be the case with this book. As it turns out, I'm glad that I persevered because I got used to its unusual style.
The story begins with some new arrivals in a small french town; Vianne, her daughter Anouk and her daughter's imaginary rabbit Pantouffle. Vianne opens a chocolate shop and slowly uses her chocolate and her own brand of magic to open the minds and hearts of the villagers. She cannot, however, open the mind or the heart of the village priest, who sees Vianne as an enemy; not just an enemy to himself and the townspeople, but to Christianity itself. He attempts to force her to leave town and in doing so comes face to face with his own weaknesses.
What i really liked about this story is told, is that it is narrated in first person from both Vianne's and the priest's perspectives. The two characters are set up as enemies, one represents good (Vianne) and the other evil (the priest). What I thought was clever that it was not always immediately apparent from the style of writing who's perspective the chapter was from. Sometimes I found that it was the content of the chapter that gave it away. I could be making this all up, but I think it may have been deliberately done. I think it's a clever way of perhaps saying to the reader that although there is this dynamic of good and evil set up between the two, sometimes good and evil are not that far removed from each other, but that it is a matter of perspective. I would be interested to know if anyone else who has read this book thinks something similar.
This is a good book if you are looking for an easy but magical read.