I read Chocolat (of course) and liked it, so I went on to read Blackberry Wine and Coastliners and I was done I didnâ€™t want to read another Joanne Harris novel. A friend convinced me to give The Lollipop Shoes a go (plus she leant me her copy).
I struggled a bit and I found the build up to the climax tedious and longwinded. However, the characterisations were fabulous â€“ particularly Anouk/Annie with her teenage angst and her forays into a bit of practical magic.
We find Vianne and Anouk now known as Yanne and Annie living in Montmartre in a rented chocolaterie. Yanne has settled for security and stability â€“ they have been keeping the â€˜kindly onesâ€™ at bay for the past few years by being ordinary (no magic). Vianne has had another child Rosette who at four still doesnâ€™t talk and seems to cause mysterious â€œAccidentsâ€. Zozie erupts in this world bringing with her tricks and glamours similar to those Vianne performed in the past. She is enchanting and more and more people are enticed into the chocolaterie and it finally starts to break even. However, she has an ulterior motive â€“ she is a stealer of lives and identities and just how much of Vianneâ€™s life does she want?
The mother daughter relationship is portrayed with insight and sensitivity. And the narrative method of swapping points of view between Yanne, Annie and Zozie was effective and allowed the reader an insight into each characters motivation.
Although overall I enjoyed this book, I wouldnâ€™t recommend it to anyone but a true Harris fan.