The Lollipop Shoes – Joanne Harris

Having reread Chocolat, the next book I picked up had to be The Lollipop Shoes, which returns to Vianne and her daughters four years later. They still have a chocolate shop now in Montmartre, but are hiding from themselves and their past in search of permanence and stability. The chocolate shop is not a success, the chocolates are made elsewhere and Anouk is moving away from her mother.

Against this, Zozie turns up in her lollipop shoes and bright character. Another witch, she offers friendship to the family, and helps make the shop something like that in Chocolat. Another tale of unwinding secrets, only this time the secrets belong to Vianne and Anouk more than the shop’s customers.

This is a more substancial book than Chocolat, with the magic being a more key part of the narrative rather than something to help smooth things along. This is mostly Zozie who has no problem with using her talents in spite of repercussions and offers an interesting contrast to Vianne, emphasised by the three-narrator structure of the book, with the two adult women and Anouk all given voices.

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