Monday, December 10, 2012

Dreaming of France -- Peaches for Father Francis

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.
I finished reading  Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris. She's also the author of Chocolat, the book and movie set in a small town in France where a single mother and her daughter are judged by the people there.
In this new book, a sequel to Chocolat, the main character Vianne is living in Paris when she receives a letter from an old friend who has died. The letter tells her presciently that she is needed back in her old village. The priest there, who had disapproved of Vianne, is struggling with the new Muslim population who have moved to the village. The acceptance of Muslims in this very Catholic country is obviously an issue the whole country is dealing with as they argue about whether Muslim girls can wear headscarves in school. I hadn't considered that the reaction to this mandate might be that Muslim families simply keep their teenage girls home from school.
In addition to dealing with these cultural rifts, this book combines a lot of the things everyone loves about France, the meals and the time to enjoy life, family and friends.
 The story is told through the viewpoints of both Vianne and Father Francis.  There's lots of small town intrigue and a little magic through the chocolate that Vianne finally makes to get a handle on the problems in the town.
The book dragged a bit, until about two-thirds in and then I stayed up much later than my bedtime because I just had to finish it.
It's worth a leisurely read to enjoy the atmosphere and the relationships.
Here's a photo that looks like a typical French village where Peaches for Father Francis was set.  Everytime we drive some place like this, I wonder how the cars will fit up the narrow road, especially when people are walking along.


Linda said...

We have many dings in our car from entering small villages so we've learned not to do it anymore-just part somewhere outside.

Paulita said...

I didn't think about that. Good tip. Just walk into the village. Thanks for playing along. Wish I could make comments on your blog.

Virginia said...

Oh I can't possibly buy another book about Paris/France or I'll be called the Crazy Book Lady!

Sim Carter said...

I've never had the experience of driving in France or anywhere in Europe. I always thought the traffic circles and roundabouts they seem to have would freak me out but those narrow streets would do me in completely.

Moniquereads said...

I enjoyed Chocolat and now that I know there is a sequel I will have to check it out.

vvb32 reads said...

I was wondering about this book and have it on my tbr pile for later. My tendency is to walk through small towns if possible. Otherwise as I recall there the cars seem smaller and compact.

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