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Chocolat by Joanne Harris is set in a small village in southern France. Vianne Rocher and her daughter have moved into the old bakery and have turned it into a chocolate shop. Vianne's liberal views immediately put her at odds with the local priest.
The timeline runs from just before Valentine's Day until Easter. During that time she builds her business and plans a chocolate themed Easter / spring festival. While chocolates are pretty common with celebrating Easter, in this village it just isn't done. The priest declares war when he realizes she doesn't want to assimilate.
While the novel has a distinct and solid sense of place, it isn't placed well in time. I struggled through the first two thirds of the novel trying to understand when the novel was taking place. For much of the novel it read like a historic novel. At different times I could imagine it at the end of the nineteenth century, the 1920s, the 1950s and the 1970s. Only near the end did it become apparent that the setting was contemporary — meaning end of the twentieth century.
The second novel is The Girl with No Shadow (2007).