30 Aug 2011

THE LOLLIPOP SHOES.

An ex-library stock read, The Lollipop Shoes was the 63rd book read for my 100+ Reading Challenge.


THE LOLLIPOP SHOES (Known as The Girl With No Shadow in the USA) 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 ..... Herself.
.... Outer back cover.


FIRST SENTENCE: (Chapter 1): It is a relatively little-known fact that, over the course of a single year, about twenty million letters are delivered to the dead.


MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 480): She's the wind that blows at the turn of the year. She's the sound of one hand clapping. She's the lump in your mother's breast. She's the absent look in your daughter's eyes. She's the cry of the cat. She's in the confessional. She's hiding inside the black pinata. But most of all she is simply Death; greedy old Mictecacihuatl herself, Santa Muerte, the Eater of Hearts, most terrible of the Kindly Ones.


KEEP IT OR NOT?: Yes, this is one for the shelves.


A sort  of follow on from the author's CHOCOLAT, The Lollipop Shoes(which takes place four years after the events at Lanquenet-sous-Tannes) could be read as a stand alone novel but to get the best out of it I would highly recommend that Chocolat be read first - it has been several years since I last read it and I know I would have benefited from re-reading it before reading this 'second' instalment.


A much larger book of 571 pages The Lollipop Shoes is well written, a magical story that somehow manages to be modern and, yet at the same time, strangely old fashioned. Full of wonderfully written characters all of whom had their own story to tell it was almost like meeting up with old friends, seeing how things that were hinted at in Chocolat developed ...... or didn't as the case might be.


To be honest though I did not enjoy this nearly as much as Chocolat and found myself quite disappointed by Vianne (now known as Yanne)in that the author did not take the opportunity to delve much further into her psyche. A much better, though far from likable character, was Zozie - flamboyant, fascinating and more than a little scary, she was a joy to read.


Narrated by the three main characters, Vianne/Yanne, Anouk (now Annie) and newcomer, Zozie, the story, on the whole, was easy to follow except for one or two occasions towards the end when the story seemed to waver and I admit I found my mind wondering.


Interspersed with stories that Yanne/Vianne was told as a child by her mother whilst this was interesting I'm not convinced if it added anything to the book or just made a relatively long novel unnecessarily longer.


All in all a good read. If you enjoyed Chocolat then you might enjoy this. And if you haven't read Chocolat then I recommend you do so.


10 comments:

Kelly said...

Although I've read several of Harris's novels (and enjoyed them), I don't think I ever got around to reading "Chocolat". I'll keep both it and this one in mind for future reference.

Arti said...

Very well written review, as always...
Gives a through insight into what the book offers and leaves me wanting for more!!!
Will search out for this one and for Chocolat.
Have a wonderful week ahead:)

Jo said...

Somehow, I had missed this one, although I liked Chocolat (and Five Quarters of the Orange) -- so I'll be checking the library shelf for it today. :)

Vivienne said...

I do love a Joanne Harris book! I haven't read this one yet, but I am intrigued.

Stranger said...

I love Joanne Harris and have read Chocolat so definitely I am gonna try to get my hands on this one.

Jenners said...

I'm intrigued … and I've never heard of this author or series.

GMR said...

How interesting is the name change for the title between US and UK....huh. Love the review though and that memorable moment had me hanging on every word. Will add both to my future reads list...thanks for the recommendation! ^_^

Jen said...

I've seen the movie Chocolat. Is this the book it was based on? The character names sound familiar. I loved the movie. Maybe the book is even better...

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

Tracy, lovely review...i thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

like the previous commenter i've seen the movie chocolat and i liked it a lot. so i think i'll enjoy reading the book as well.

big hugs
betty X

....Petty Witter said...

To answer your question Jen ...... yes, the film is based on the book. One of those rare times when I enjoyed both, the film I thought very true to the book.