"Just Delightful". I never realized before that it was based on a book so I decided to give it a read and I am very glad that I did. I was pleased to find that the basic plot and theme was the same as the movie but it was also quite different so it was a brand new experience as well.
Chocolat is a tale of a Vianne and her daughter Anouk who travel from place to place with the wind. They set up a chocalaterie called "La Céleste Praline" in the small French town of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. Her main rival is the town's priest Francis Reynaud who is angry that she has set up this shop of temptations at the start of Lent, but he is really afraid of her influence over the townspeople, as he prefers to control them himself.
Through her personality, her delicious chocolates and a bit of magic, Vianne is able to make many positive changes in the town. The same characters that we meet in the movie are there, Josephine, Armande, Roux and his travelling companions, although how they are presented and how their stories turn out do vary. Most notable in its difference is the character of Reynaud, in the movie he is a Count where here as mentioned earlier, he is the priest. The book is actually told from alternating perspectives between himself and Vianne.
All in all I very much enjoyed reading this book. I would be hard pressed to pick a preference between the movie and the book version of this tale, they are both quite wonderful, but the movie has Johnny Depp so that should be an automatic win no matter what. I would very much recommend giving this one a read.