Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chocolate and Chocolat

Being completely out of touch, I just recently - finally - saw the wonderful movie "Chocolat", and fell in love with "Vianne Rocher", the main character that Juliette Binoche plays.

The following week we took KosherCop to the library to try to get more "Magic Treehouse" books. There were none, but in the place where they should have been was flyer listing all the books that Treehouse fans might also enjoy so we discovered some new wonderful books.

The way these excursions generally work is that one parent stays with KosherCop while the other gets to look for their own books. Then, when that parent finally decides to come back, the other can use the last five minutes to look for a book before a) the library closes or b) KosherCop realizes he is hungry starving and we have to go. This time I let KosherCook look for some books first and was left with five minutes to do my usual commando-style raid on the new fiction section.

My typical M.O. is to scoop up 4 or 5 books that seem mildly interesting and hope that one of them is worth reading. But this time I only needed 1 minute.

The first book I saw was the sequel to "Chocolat", "The Girl with No Shadow" by Joanne Harris. I didn't need 4 more "just in case" books - I was fully committed to reading this one book and couldn't wait to get home to read it.

The only problem was that once I started reading it, I began to notice small inconsistencies between references to things that had happened in the book "Chocolat" and the movie. I don't typically like to see the movie version of a book I've really enjoyed, and I certainly don't like to go back and read a book after I've seen the movie - I find myself imagining all the characters as the actors who played them and that gets really annoying.

But this time I was torn. I was immediately drawn into the story but part of me wanted to stop reading and go back and read "Chocolat" first, before continuing with the sequel. Of course I couldn't stop reading "The Girl With No Shadow" because it was far too good to put down and I couldn't get back to the library quick enough to get the first book.

In the end it didn't matter. Joanne Harris gives enough back story that I felt confident that the plot of the movie was similar enough to the book that I didn't feel left out reading this one first.

And since I am very sad that I've finished it, I can read "Chocolat" just so I can spend some more time with the characters.

One thing I did find odd was that "The Girl With No Shadow" was originally published in the UK with a much better title - "The Lollipop Shoes". It had a better cover too as far as I can tell. I'm curious why the publishers (or author, I suppose) felt Americans would be less likely to buy a book called "The Lollipop Shoes".

I feel a little jealous of everyone who got to read it under the original title. But, it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book - I still loved it.

And I have been craving (and eating) chocolate like there's no tomorrow. I especially want to try chocolate with chili pepper in it, now. I actually found some, but it wasn't hekshered. Darn!

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