I hate this book. Sure, it's not the worst novel of all time, but I'm not sure what other people like about it. Joanne Harris trots out every stereotypical archetype known to English literature. Witch with heart of gold (Vianne). Check. Hardworking, misunderstood handsome vagabond (Roux). Check. Evil father-figure (Father Reynaud). Check. Abusive husband (Mr. Musgrave). Check. Abused wife (Mrs. Musgrave). Check. Free-spirited old lady (Armande). Check. Bigoted, materialistic daughter (Caroline). Check. There's nothing wrong with using archetypes, but she could have at least tried to make them somewhat more deep and substantial.
Plus, there is no suspense in the plot whatsoever. Is Vianne going to triumph in the end? Of course she is. Anybody who reads the first fifteen pages knows that. So why does Ms. Harris make us read an additional 290 pages when we already know how it's going to end? There is no suspense and I had no real interest in what happened next.
For the life of me, I'm not sure why this book garnered so much praise. If you want to read about chocolate and feel hungry, I suggest a desert cookbook instead of this predictable tripe.