To be a poet one needs the six P’s – the pencil, the paper, the perception, the passion, the persistence and the unshakable persuasion that the poem is in fact possible and attainable. - Grace Perry

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Books I have read - The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris

A light breeze was playing around the hem of my skirt as I was walking to university to hand my last assignment in and the movement of fabric on my calves got me thinking about Joanne Harris' book The Lollipop Shoes. 

The Lollipop Shoes is the sequel to Chocolat. In both of these stories the characters understand the temptation of magic, the allure of hand-made chocolates and the power of the wind.
That wind. I see it's blowing now. Furtive but commanding, it has dictated every move we've ever made. My mother felt it, and so do I - even here, even now - as it sweeps us like leaves into this backstreet corner, dancing us to shreds against the stones (19).
Just as the wind has always dictated Rosette, Anouk and Vianne's lives, I can feel it pushing and pulling me to the end of another chapter and the beginning of my career as a teacher. Thankfully, this wind of mine is not dashing me against stones. The concept of the changing seasons and winds having this kind of power is romantic and a little bit scary.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Lollipop Shoes; worrying with Vianne about her children and the wind; growing and learning about magic, family and love with Anouk; and flirting with the extravagant Zozie de l'Alba.
Zozie says you can ride the wind; that it's like a wild horse that can be tamed and trained to do just what you want it to. You can be a kite, a bird; you can grant wishes; you can find your heart's desire...(311-312). 
Blogger Valerie J found this book to be aimed at a teenage audience and did not enjoy how the chapters are written from the perspectives of the different characters. I disagree with Valerie on both of these counts. The story explores the adult themes of motherhood, the desire for security, lust, love and friendship.

The chapters are told from the three voices of Anouk, Vianne and Zozie and it is not always clear at first whose perspective we are reading from. However, I found this to be part of the magic of the book.

The rich sensory imagery of Joanne Harris' writing encourages a reader to experience the story fully; tasting the chocolates and other culinary treats; smelling the perfumes of the women, the city and the food.
You can ride the wind like an eagle, Nanou - or you can choose to let it blow you away (245). 
To hear from Joanne Harris about the writing of the book please visit her website here.

An excerpt from this book can be found here.

The book can be purchased from Random House books here.

Other reviews of this book can be found here and here

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