Book Review: The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris

Seeking refuge and anonymity in the cobbled streets of Montmartre, Yanne and her daughters, Rosette and Annie, live peacefully, if not happily, above their little chocolate shop.Nothing unusual marks them out; no red sachets hang by the door.The wind has stopped – at least for a while.Then into their lives blows Zozie de l’Alba, the lady with the lollipop shoes, and everything begins to change….

But this new friendship is not what it seems. Ruthless, devious and seductive, Zozie de l’Alba has plans of her own – plans that will shake their world to pieces.And with everything she loves at stake, Yanne must face a difficult choice; to flee, as she has done so many times before, or to confront her most dangerous enemy…..

This is the follow on from Chocolat and set 4 years later. When reading Chocolat, I hadn’t realised how modern the setting was – it was only in this book and the talk of Euros, that I realised it was an early 21st-century story, rather than set mid 20th. (I had always taken Chocolat to be set in the 1940s for some reason).

There is lots more magic in this book, both European and South American. It is the story (in part) of Vianne and Zozie, and what Vianne is prepared to lose in order to gain what she believes is a normal life for her and her two daughters. Vianne has moved to a new town, and set up shop, trying to keep her head down and still smarting from the events in Chocolat.  Zozie starts taking over Vianne’s life, building up the chocolate shop just as Vianne had done in Chocolat, and winning over Vianne’s older daughter. Finally Vianne has to decide on what she wants in this world

I agree with other reviewers that it’s perhaps a little long, and the main disadvantage when reading Harris’ books – I have a near overriding urge to Bake! (I’ve even hunted out the cookery book and may inflict the results on people!).



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