Peaches for Monsieur Le CurÃ©: I really shouldn’t be reading this book yet as I’m still reading Joanne Harris’s The Lollipop Shoes, the book that precedes Peaches for Monsieur Le CurÃ©, but I just had to see how it starts.
This is the beginning (and the whole of Chapter One):
Someone once told me that, in France alone, a quarter of a million letters are delivered every year to the dead.
What she didn’t tell me is that sometimes the dead write back.
Well, that seemed so familiar – and it is because here is the opening sentence of The Lollipop Shoes:
It is a relatively little-known fact that, over the course of a single year, about twenty million letters are delivered to the dead.
I’ve had The Lollipop Shoes for nearly five years and have only just got round to reading it. I bought it when it came out in hardback because I’d loved reading Chocolat and wanted to read more about Vianne Rocher – my post on Chocolat explains my love of this book. So far, though, it just doesn’t have the same enchantment as Chocolat and it’s giving me uneasy feelings. I don’t want to say too much just yet as I’ve only read half the book – but one of the characters is definitely not ‘nice’, she’s dangerous and devious, out to change Vianne’s world.
In fact, when I first looked at The Lollipop Shoes I found I didn’t want to read it – it’s so different in mood from Chocolat. So it went back on the shelf until this week, when I read Christine’s review of Peaches for Monsieur Le CurÃ© and I knew it was time to read Joanne Harris’s books. It sounds as though Peaches for Monsieur Le CurÃ© is just as enjoyable as Chocolat and maybe not quite so dark as The Lollipop Shoes, because she wrote: ‘it’s the kind of novel I’ll turn to on a grey day, when the world seems against me, and I want my spirits lifting without having to think too deeply about anything’.
For more Book Beginnings on Friday see Gilion’s blog Rose City Reader.