I’m beyond excited today to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for the beautiful and moving The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Orion Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this stunning book.
About the book:
THE STRAWBERRY THIEF is the fourth in a series of novels that began with CHOCOLAT, and which continues the story of Vianne Rocher and her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, in the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes.
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.
About the author:
Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television.
In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She also spends too much time on Twitter; plays flute and bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16; and works from a shed in her garden at her home in Yorkshire.
A book like The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris doesn’t come along very often. It’s a book that sweeps you away on a tsunami of emotions and leaves you feeling breathless almost from the very first page. A glorious, memorable book filled with magic and shadows, light and dark, that you don’t ever want to end. It’s the kind of story you completely lose yourself in, becoming so immersed in it that you lose all track of time, emerging hours later, bleary eyed, wondering where all the time has gone.
There is something magical about the world of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and the people who live there. They are brought so vividly to life that they feel real, leaving you feeling bereft as you turn to the final page, not wanting to say goodbye to these people who have come to mean so much to you.
Whereas Chocolat was the beautiful Vianne’s story, The Strawberry Thief is very much the story of her daughter, Rosette. I adored Rosette. Vianne’s ‘special child’, there is so much more to her than at first meets the eye. And when old Narcisse, the florist, much to the surprise of everyone, leaves a wood filled with strawberries to her, and a written confession to the priest, Reynaud, life in the village is once more thrown into disarray.
I don’t think any review I write could ever do this stunning book justice. To be able to spend more time in the magical world of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes has been a privilege I didn’t expect to be given. There isn’t anything I didn’t love about it, my emotions swirling all over the place as the beautiful writing moved me beyond words. For me, with all its beauty and magic, The Strawberry Thief is a book about life, death and everything in between. So hauntingly beautiful, it filled my every waking hour and even found its way into my dreams.
Joanne Harris is a writer who breathes life into her characters, so much so that they no longer feel like characters, but become real people who continue to live on long after the final word has been read and the book closed.
A mesmerising and stunning story that I will never forget. Pure perfection.
The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris is available to buy now: Amazon UK
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