The compelling new novel from the author of the bestselling Chocolat.
Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.
But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray. The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend and the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence – even, perhaps, a murder…
Published April 4th 2019 by Orion (UK)
~ Review ~
I have to admit to having never read anything by Joanne Harris before. I’ve heard of Chocolat of course, but The Strawberry Thief would be my first novel by this author. I can honestly say that not having read the previous books did not affect my enjoyment and I adored this beautiful book.
I went in with no expectations, but I guess I wasn’t expecting such a magical story. The book is filled with mysticism and hints of magic, light and dark, the setting so richly described and the writing exquisitely lyrical. Each time I sat down to read a bit more, it was almost like slipping into a dreamlike state and I enjoyed every moment.
I also loved the unique cast of characters, falling in love with Rosette – Vianne’s “special child” who doesn’t talk or act like other children. I loved her innocent take on the world. I also really liked reading the story of her benefactor, told posthumously through a confessional document to the local priest, who is also carrying a dark secret of his own.
I don’t know what else I can say without spoiling it for others, but one thing is certain – I’ll be ordering the three previous books to The Strawberry Thief ASAP. Joanne Harris’s writing is everything I love – rich, poetic and with hints of magic. I absolutely adored it.
(I read an advance proof courtesy of the publisher)