Book Beginnings

Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé: 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 Curé, 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 Curé and I knew it was time to read Joanne Harris’s books. It sounds as though  Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé 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.

11 thoughts on “Book Beginnings”

  1. I enjoyed the movie of Chocolat but have yet to read it or any Harris books. They probably don’t classify as a classic, so they won’t be on my spin list which means they won’t get read for at least another couple of months!!
    It sounds like Harris is a ‘comfort read’ for you and that Lollipops is not, in fact, very comfortable!

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  2. I haven’t read either of Joanna Harris’ books, but I quite liked Chocolat, the movie. It’s quite funny that the two books start with almost the same lines, but I guess that Harris did it on purpose!
    On a second note, would you like to be part of my blog tour for ‘Confessions of a Harry Potter Fan’? Drop me an email, if yes 🙂
    My Friday Post
    Thanks for sharing, I’m an old follower! Hope you have a great weekend,
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  3. Thank you for the mention. I didn’t make the connection about the opening lines being virtually the same, but I preferred this to The Lollipop Shoes. Chocolat is the best of the three though.

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  4. All of the books you mentioned sound intriguing, especially those with the “letters to the dead” beginning. I enjoyed the movie “Chocolat” and didn’t realize it was from a book. I’ll definitely read it.

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  5. I had several false starts with The Lollipop Shoes–it is a much darker book really than Chocolat which is also one of my all time favorites and one I regularly reread. I did like TLS, but not nearly as much as Chocolat. I do want to read Peaches for M. le Curé, but I think I will wait for it to come out in paperback. There is something really magical about Chocolat–I loved the movie, too!

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  6. I absolutely loved Chocolat, book and movie, and have been resisting meddling with the world of Chocolat. I like the opening to Lollipop though, and Oranges is appealing. Maybe I should just give them a try.

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