Monday, March 17, 2008

Joanne Harris - The Lollipop Shoes

The darker sequel to Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes is beautifully written. The ending is happy, but could easily have gone the other way until the very last page.

Three viewpoint characters, Yanne (Vianne from Chocolat), her daughter Annie (formerly Anouk) and the entrancing, amoral, identity-stealing Zozie de l'Alba, who has taken on the alluring magical mantle which Yanne has tried to cast off since leaving her old life. The other characters are varied and alive, from the property tycoon who wants to bring stability to Yanne, at the expense of adventure, to Annie's camera obsessed school friend who helps pinpoint Zozie's strangeness.
My 'grumpy rationalist' side refused to be entirely convinced by the magical signs, symbols and cantrips, but the writing is a sensual delight.

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