Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.

Summary – A single mother with unusual powers sets up a chocolate shop in a traditional French village during Lent.

The Perfect Drink – Ideally, Chocolat would be paired with a mug of hot chocolate made by melting real chocolate into milk. Chocolat isn’t all sweetness – it contains fear, anger and bitterness – so we think a dark chocolate would work best. A pinch or two of cayenne pepper would add spice and heat, as well as a suggestion of the exotic – something that Vianne, Annouk and the gypsies bring to sleepy Lansquenet-sous-Tannes.

The Perfect Snack – Normally we at Milk & Honey like to recommend a specific snack to complement your book, but in this case only you can choose your perfect accompaniment. Just as Vianne uses her powers to discover the favourite chocolates of the villagers, you should select the chocolate delicacy that you find the most tempting and indulgent. It might be a moist chocolate cake with a melting middle, a little box of chocolate liqueurs, or a brownie full of salted caramel. For Alice, it’s a pain au chocolat with flaky, buttery pastry, threaded with dark chocolate. For Mary, it’s a rich, melting chocolate truffle.

The Perfect Place – This is an ideal holiday read – not only because it’s set in a picturesque French village, but also because it discusses placelessness and wandering. It’s the perfect book to read when you’re away from home, enjoying a new place without really belonging there.

How would you read Chocolat? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.