Friday, March 25, 2011

Chocolat by Joanne Haris

I LOVE to read. 
Have I mentioned that I LOVE to read?

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE to read books that have been made into good movies!
It gives me the opportunity to share the experience of the story with my husband who doesn't have time to read nonfiction at the moment because of all the other reading he has to do for school and work.

My most recent read was the book Chocolat by Joanna Harris.

It is about a mystious woman that comes into town with her illegitimate daughter and opens a chocolate shop during lent. 

Throughout the book the woman manages to turn heads by helping an old woman become even sicker, encouraging another woman to leave her abusive husband and welcoming the gypsies into the town. On top of that she refuses to go to Mass, teachers her child about pagan gods and reads terra cards.

The whole book centers around the church's strict religious practices and the "carefree" attitude of this mysterious woman that has just come into town.

As a ministers wife and seminary student I was appalled by the authors need to villainize the church, the priest. Society has enough misconceptions and misunderstandings about the church, about priests, as it is. Then to write a book in which a woman who claims to be a witch is the BLESSING of the town is outrageous.

I clearly had problems with the plot and I have a sneaky suspicion that the author might be pagan. She kept bringing up through the characters that Jesus is a myth. A silly little story that is similar to other pagan stories.

But I have to admit that she is a damn good writer.

Her writing style wraps you up in a way that you can't let go. No matter how mad you are at the plot.

Every time I began to read I was transported to a quaint little town outside of Paris France, into a delicious chocolate shop.

I can't tell you how many cups of hot chocolate and toast with hazelnut spread that I enjoyed while reading this book because I am ashamed.  I am now in the process of looking up the closest chocolate shop to our house so I can treat myself!

Some church goers might take offense to this book. It is saturated with pagan gods and pagan worship. I admit that it made me very uneasy at times. However, this book will probably go down as one of the most enjoyable reads I have had.

Last night Roger and I watched the movie that is based on this book.

Afterwards we talked about the differences between the book and the movie.

In the movie the woman is not depicted as a witch, instead she is just a VERY mysterious woman. She never has terra cards or casts spells. She is more of a woman that is very close to the earth. 

Also, in the movie, the church and the priest are not the source of opposition, instead it is the mayor. 

The priest is turned from an old hateful man (the book) to a young new priest that is loving but shy and told what to do by the mayor. 

The movie doesn't have the stuff from the book that bothered me (pagan stuff, making the church look evil).  Roger and  I were talking about how well they did at preserving the fairy tale like story but making it more approachable to the Christian audience.

The next book that I am reading is......
 It is a personal blog made into a book. The blogger, Heather, writes about her pregnancy, the birth of her child and the postpartum depression that she endured. She writes all of this with a crazy sense of humor. I have only read the prologue and the first chapter but I have already laughed out load several times. 

I'm excited to read a book by a woman that suffered postpartum depression. I suffered from it for a whole year before I was aware of what was going on.  I'll write a blog about this book when I am finished with it! 

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