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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sinister magic in Paris
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...
Published on 21 Jun 2007 by David Paul Jebb

versus
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so much as the sumptuous magical feat as a parlour magic trick
Having been a Harris reader now since the fantasmogorical Chocolat, I have come to expect a kind of magic from her writing. Whilst I enjoyed The Lollypop Shoes, it did not have the same effect as Chocolat, Coastliners, Blackberry Wine and the hugely successful Gentlemen and Players.

I was incredibly pleased to learn that Joanne Harris would be returning to the...
Published on 27 July 2007 by J. Pinnock


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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sinister magic in Paris, 21 Jun 2007
By 
David Paul Jebb "trainboydave" (Craigavon, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bewitching, 30 May 2007
Having never written a review before, I approach this knowing that due to differing tastes, my main aim of convincing everyone to read at least one Joanne Harris book will never become a reality. However I will begin this by commenting that this is the first book I have ever read that has ever prompted me to write a review. The Lollipop shoes picks up perfectly from where Chocolat left off ...(me wanting more!) Is is a truly spellbinding read and allows the reader to plunge into a world where magic happens. When the story ends you find yourself again craving more, and actually caring for the characters. The only critisism I could possibly offer is that the book seems to follow the movie much more than the book. If I remember correctly Roux settled down with Josephine in the book, yet no mention is made of her in The Lollipop Shoes, which leads me to believe it continues from the ending of the film, where Roux returns to Vianne. However such a small point could never put me off recommending this book to anyone who will listen!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very worthy sequel, 16 May 2008
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Lollipop Shoes (Paperback)
Sometimes when you read the sequel of a book that you have really enjoyed you close the book when you've finished feeling quite sad because it just didnt live up to the expectation - with Lollipop Shoes I closed the book very sad as I just didnt want it to end. I wasnt disappointed in the least and in fact, I think I enjoyed it more than Chocolat.

Joanne Harris re-acquaints the reader with Vianne, Anouke and Roux - all well-loved characters. Brand new and major characters are Rosette - Vianne's second daughter and Zozie, the mysterious lady who appears to be a guardian angel to the little family.
Vianne, Anouke and Zozie take turns to tell the story, and as each tell the same story, each one gives their own different view.

The story is full of mystery and magic, interwoven with the story of Vianne and her family's struggle to make a living from their chocolate shop, Vianne's relationship with new man Thierry and old beau Roux. Running alongside the main story are the individual stories of the shop's customers - including the slightly aloof Madame, the local cafe owner and a street-painter, amongst others.

The story turns quite dark and atmospheric towards the end whilst still seeming realistic, and I certainly couldnt turn the pages fast enough to find out the ending.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware red shoes!, 1 Oct 2007
By 
Nadia "Fleet UK" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the sequel to Chocolat, and re-introduces the author's much loved characters, Vianne and her daughter Anuke, the gypsy Rue, and two new characters; Zozie, a woman who is nothing at all like she seems, and Rosette, Vianne's daughter by Rue.
The story is told from the differing view points of Zozie, Vianne and Anuke, and Joanne Harris captures their three distinct voices perfectly.
On the run after the down fall of her nemesis the priest, Vianne and Anuke settle in Paris, where Vianne opens a chocolate shop and struggles to create a sense of normality for herself and her daughters. However, she is barely breaking even, and she has the added worry of Rosette, who refuses to speak or eat with a spoon, though she hears and understands everything, and what is more, she shows signs of the gift that Anuke longs to explore and Vianne tries her best to ignore.
Their fortunes change when Zozie breezes in to town. Soon the shop is thriving and Vianne and Anuke wonder how they ever managed without her. But the price for this newfound happiness is far beyond anything either of them expect.
This is a deeply atmospheric novel. The sinister nature of the story builds towards the inevitable climax and the suspense literally keeps the reader glued to the page.
It's very refreshing to have at least some of the story told by the villain and Joanne Harris does it beautifully.
Lollypop shoes has the same sharp-tongued wit and charm as Chocolat, though it is a somewhat darker tale in which magic features much more prominently. In spite of that, the book feels firmly grounded in reality and in no way resembles a fantasy novel. This book and its predecessor far in a way surpass the author's other works.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More sweet witchery from Joanne, 5 Sep 2007
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You loved the magic of Chocolat and longed to hear about what happened to Vianne and Anouk after they left Lansquenet. Joanne Harris's latest book, The Lollipop Shoes will tell you that and much more.

The secrets and suggestions that ran through Chocolat like an underground river are revealed here within a new storyline set in Paris and in the present day. There is a slight change of name for the two original characters, they have become Yanne and Annie. The reader is led to believe that this is to disguise their identities and break the association with the happenings in Lansquenet, which somehow became headline news.

Annie has a sister now, and it is clear from the start that this is Roux's child, the product of his relationship with Vianne in Chocolat. She has been named Rosette - which might be translated as `Little Red' , and could be described as an `unusual' child. Yanne does not regard her child as disabled or handicapped in any way and encourages her psychic and magical abilities.

The Lollipop Shoes are worn by a new and colourful character Zozie D'Alba who comes into their lives as she runs from one identity to another. The methods of that very 21st century crime, identity theft, are described here and just how easy it is to acquire and use someone else's name for profit, but without glamourising or recommending what she does.

Zozie's influence on Yanne and Annie is intriguing. You see Annie growing up and challenging the way her mother has lived in the past and is living in the present. Zozie is presented as an alter ego for Yanne, and Annie is drawn to her, yet also repelled. Zozie also challenges Yanne to make decisions about her future and not to slip into a new life with her boyfriend Thierry, a life that sounds easy but has hidden threats and dangers.

The Lollipop Shoes is compulsive reading - even if you haven't read its predecessor, there is enough here to make you stay up all night to finish it. You will want to buy and read (or re-read) Chocolat to remind you of the start of the story, and here is the only criticism I can find. There is an uncomfortable time-jump between the two which makes The Lollipop Shoes not quite a sequel.

However, if you have any magic in your soul, Joanne Harris will bewitch you into suspending reality and forgetting this. You will come to understand that there is no distinction of `white magic' and `black magic' , only the way in which someone chooses to use the power they find in themselves and how it is seen by others.

Prepare to be enchanted, entertained and surprised at the revelations, but don't miss this book.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so much as the sumptuous magical feat as a parlour magic trick, 27 July 2007
By 
J. Pinnock "Jessica" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having been a Harris reader now since the fantasmogorical Chocolat, I have come to expect a kind of magic from her writing. Whilst I enjoyed The Lollypop Shoes, it did not have the same effect as Chocolat, Coastliners, Blackberry Wine and the hugely successful Gentlemen and Players.

I was incredibly pleased to learn that Joanne Harris would be returning to the wonderful character, Vianne Rocher, although now hidden by the pseudonymn Yanne. At the end of Chocolat, I though that there was a lot more to be gleaned from Vianne. However, Harris does not use The Lollypop Shoes to elaborate or go much deeper with the character. However I must say that the interesting questions about Vianne's mother and the traditional vs conventional ideas about family makes for quiet comfort on this point. Vianne has run from ghosts who follow on the wind to Paris. Setting up a very small chocolaterie, she lives the life of a borrowed persona until Zozie de l'Alba blows in to liven up events. The story follows the changes and Harris is eagar to show that the glamourous Zozie is not as benign as she seems to Vianne's little family.

The prose is very well written, there is never any issue with this. Although it lacked a little of the usual magic of being able to envelop you completely, it was very good. However the plot is engaging right up until the very end where it falters slightly. Harris is famous for her ability to wind the plot coil so tightly that you are begging for an answer, an outcome, even a phone call, but The Lollypop Shoes left me with a feeling of the slightly disappointed bereft feeling. I thought that the book ended on a slight anti-climax whereas it could have ended with fireworks. I think that this is perhaps what has goaded me to give only three stars. Maybe it's just my opinion but I don't like to be left feeling deflated after a Harris novel. Perhaps I would feel more buoyant if I hadn't read a Harris novel before...

I particularly enjoyed the flamboyant and surprising character of Zozie de l'Alba. I found her transformations and her ideas about life and magic oddly refreshing, if a little sadistic. I also found little Rosette a very engaging little person, who, like Anouk, I would love to see more of in the future.

All in all, I thought it was a well written novel, however it lacked a little of the Harris magic I so adore. But it was enough to keep me happy until the next novel. My hat's off to you, Ms Harris!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Out of Character?, 21 Feb 2008
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Lollipop Shoes (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book but was slightly disappointed with it. At times I felt that Vianne Rocher was acting in a manner that was out of character. I wasn't as gripped by this sequel as I'd hoped to be and found it was slightly tiresome during the middle section. However, the last quarter was gripping reading and I enjoyed the final showdown immensely. I also loved that Harris has gone back to her more dark style of writing, and I enjoyed hearing the Grimm style fairy tales that Vianne's mum had told her when she was small.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bound to be Another Winner, 11 May 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Joanne Harris is the author of the international bestsellers Chocolat, Blackberry Wine and many other top selling novels. She lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with her husband and daughter. The Lollipop Shoes is bound to be another best seller for this accomplished author.

Yanne and her daughters Rosette and Annie find peace, tranquility and more importantly to them anonymity in the quaint cobbled streets of Montmartre. None of these things are easy to find in the beautiful but hectic city of Paris. The family live above their little chocolate shop (is the author addicted?). There is nothing unusual to mark them out from the crowd and then into their quiet lives comes Zozie de l'Alba, the lady with the lollipop shoes and everything begins to change . . .

But this new found friendship is not all that it seems. Zozie can be friendly and fun to be with on the surface, but she is also ruthless and devious and she has her own agenda. Plans that will shake the world of Yanne and her daughters. With everyone and everything she loves and treasures at stake, Yanne must make a choice - to run away, as she has done so many times before - or to stay and confront her most dangerous enemy . . .

The author has a knack of making her novels so easy to read. The words flow from the pages like the chocolat she seems obsessed with (I am too). I bought the book for my wife, but she insisted that I read it and I am glad that I did.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I grabbed it when it first came out, 24 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Lollipop Shoes (Paperback)
Unfortunately, this isn't the best example of that. The beginning and end are fine (though the end is rather cliched) but the middle is rather flabby and needed some good sharp editing. I think it could probably have been cut by about a quarter of its length.

I also found difficulty telling the 3 women's voices apart - I kept having to go back (and I wasn't skipping either, at that point ...) and try to reassess whose section it was, which didn't really help.

No doubt this will do well, but Harris can do much better than this. I recommend Tino Georgiou's--The Fates--for a more satisfing read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real magical treat, 21 Sep 2007
This is another Harris classic in the making. The usual potent mix of mouth-watering descriptions of food, magical characters and a page-turning plot. This is the sequel to Chocolate and is a worthy follow-up to what has become Harris' most well known novel. Where magic is often an under-laying theme in her work, in this novel it is at the forefront. The great thing about Harris is that she talks about witchcraft and spells as if they are everyday - her power is in making the fabulous seem normal so amazing things can happen to ordinary people without the story becoming far-fetched. This is an old-fashioned story of good versus evil - and although you are pretty sure you will triumph it is a rollercoaster adventure to get to the end.
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