09 April 2013

Peaches for Monsieur le Cure

By Joanne Harris
First published in Great Britain in 2012
by Doubleday a division of Transworld Publishers

Vianne Rocher returns to Lansquenet after receiving a letter from her old friend, Armande.  Her old DEAD friend, Armande.  Armande believes Vianne should return to Lansquenet as the people there need her.  As the wind blows, Vianne returns.

Upon her return, Vianne discovers Lansquenet is not as she had left it.  Gone are the days of the river gypsies and Vianne's chocolate shop.  There is friction between the Catholics and Muslims; a church bell competing with a call to prayer.  Vianne, always the peacemaker, tries to bring the community together with her magical chocolate and her good common sense. 

Harris explores the very contemporary topic of different religions trying to co-exist with respect and intelligence.  More difficult topics are handled sensitively; the situations never getting to the point where the reader can't take any more.  Quite possibly, Harris has many readers questioning their own beliefs or, at the very least, wondering why they can't be more open-minded towards others.

A wonderful book for those who have loved Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes.  An introduction to Harris' brilliance for those picking up one of her novels for the first time.

07 April 2013

Rules of Civility

By Amor Towles
Published by the Penguin Group
First published in the United States of America by
Viking Penguin, 2011

On New Year's Eve, 1937, Katey Kontent's life changes when she meets Tinker Grey.  That's all you need to know.  Really.  This book is so beautifully written, once you start it you will be unable to put it down. 

You will be caught up in the New York of 1938 and the complicated, gorgeous characters Amor Towles has created:  Katey Kontent, Tinker Grey, Dicky Vanderwhile, Eve Ross, and Wallace Wolcott. 

Buy it.  Read it.  Love it.