First thing's first: you have to read Chocolat before reading this book, as many of the emotional issues will only make the most minimal of sense. And I mean read the book, not watch the Juliette Binoche film, which is great in its own way, but not the book of everyday magic that is Chocolat the novel.
Zozie de l'Alba breezes into Vianne and Anouk's life (now calling themselves Yanne and Annie), seemingly from nowhere and they become fast friends depending on her for moral and emotional support. But she is not what she seems. With a second daughter, Rosette, born after the events of the first book, Vianne has a new life to protect, but is unaware of the threat beneath her own roof.
I have to begin by saying I did really enjoy this book. The occult undertones in Chocolat are more obvious this time, and Harris makes a great villain out of Zozie. I found myself hating her more and more as the book went on and cheering on the character of Anouk as she finds herself.
My one big problem is Vianne. She is frightened and worried and wants to settle down and make a 'normal' life for herself and her children. The book is told from the points of view of Anouk, Zozie and Vianne, but Vianne spends three quarters of the book talking about stability, wanting to be normal, not wanting to be a witch, being afraid of losing Anouk, of losing stability ad nauseum. Her parts are reptitive and not as enjoyable as the unrepentent Zozie or Anouk nearing the verge of womanhood. Saying that, I had to keep reading near the end, I was completely drawn in, which is why the book has four stars.
If you liked Chocolat, don't expect simply more of the same, but a good story nonetheless.