Chocolat by Joanne Harris
The official blurb:

“When a mysterious stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet with her daughter and opens an exotic chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial.

As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?”

Complete escapism – and I read it at a really low point in my life when escapism was very welcome.

This was the first Joanne Harris book I read and it transported me to the little village in France. I could smell the chocolate and I wanted to be Vianne Rocher.

I love the characters that Joanne Harris brings to life and the sense of magic that she imbues everything with.