It isn't often you receive a letter from the dead.
When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the village in south-west France where, eight years ago, she opened up a chocolate shop.
But Vianne is completely unprepared for what she finds there. Women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea, and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the square little tower of the church of Saint-Jerome like a piece on a chessboard - slender, bone-white and crowned with a silver crescent moon - a minaret.
Nor is it only the incomers from North Africa that have brought big changes to the community. Father Reynaud, Vianne's erstwhile adversary, is now disgraced and under threat.
Could it be that Vianne is the only one who can save him?