I just reviewed Chocolat recently, so I thought I’d continue with a review of The Girl with No Shadow, Joanne Harris’ sequel to that novel.
The wind is blowing trouble toward Vianne Rocher, now running a small chocolatierie in Montmartre in Paris. The trouble is coming in the form of a con woman with many names, whom Vianne will know as Zozie de l’Alba.
Vianne herself has another name. She is going by Yanne Charbonneau because of some problems that developed after the birth of her second daughter, Rosette, now four. Vianne has been doing everything she can to avoid standing out. Anouk is now known as Annie. Gone are the red dresses with bells hanging from the hems. Yanne is demure and nondescript and doesn’t use her magic, even to know what a customer’s favorite chocolate is.
Annie, at eleven, is unhappy with school and with the changes in their lives. Soon more seeds of discontent are sown. As Zozie weasels her way into their lives and prises away their secrets, she decides that when she leaves, she is taking Annie with her. So, she does her best to encourage Annie’s rebellion against her mother.
Again, Harris combines the gentleness and kindness of Vianne’s temperament with a fair amount of suspense. As we learn more about Zozie’s past, we find out just how dangerous and devoid of conscience she is.
As usual the writing is beautiful, sprinkled with the scents and flavors of the chocolatierie and a dash of magic.
Another novel about Vianne and her family is just out, Peaches for Father Francis, so I guess I had better get reading!