The Strawberry Thief returns us to the village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and everyone’s favorite chocolate maker. Vivane’s Anouk is in Paris, but she, Rosette, and Roux are in Lansquenet. And then Rosette inherits some land. This doesn’t sit well with the man’s daughter or entirely with Roux. And there is also the question of the tattoo artist.
It’s an interesting Chocolat novel because you don’t really like Viviane and Roux here. You understand Viviane and her fears, Reynard and his, but Roux is almost dislikable here.
The book soars when Rosette and Reynaud take over. It isn’t bad with Viviane but it is Rosette and Reynaud that make the book. This does not mean the book feels like a book simply written to make money while flogging a dead story. The plot also contains issues that have been surfacing since the Lollipop Shoes. There is also far more magic.
In many ways, the theme of the novel is letting go, moving on, but also coming back. Which sounds strange but is pretty much what life is.