01 May 2010

The Lollipop Shoes

By Joanne Harris
Published by Black Swan
First published in 2007 by Doubleday

The Lollipop Shoes is a sequel to Chocolat, one of Joanne Harris' yummiest books. Generally, I find sequels to be a huge disappointment. For the most part, I think sequels are written only as a way for the author to make a few more dollars off a wildly popular book and they can never measure up to the original. I was pretty sure Harris would only write a sequel because of her love for her characters and I think I was right. Past characters were instantly brought back to life and I felt as though I had finished reading Chocolat only yesterday, which is pretty good seeing as I read it back in 2002.

The story resumes in Montmartre, where Vianne Rocher and her family are now living above - where else? - a chocolaterie. Vianne has changed since we last met. In an effort to be ordinary, she has given up her cantrips and potions and convinces herself and Anouk that portions of their past lives didn't occur and that there is no such thing as magic.

Zozie de l'Alba is introduced on page one of this novel and by page two we know she is bad news. Zozie's life intersects with Vianne's in a page-turner filled with witchcraft, suspense, heartbreak and, of course, chocolate. The ending, as usual, turns on the changing wind.

Another exceptional book from Joanne Harris.

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