Book Club Meeting 4th September – Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris

Since she was a little girl, the wind has dictated every move Vianne Rocher has made, buffeting her from place to place, from the small French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and the baby, Rosette, safe. Her new home above the chocolate shop offers calm and quiet: no red sachets hang by the door; no sparks of magic fill the air; no Indian skirts with bells hang in her closet. Conformity brings with it anonymity and peace. There is even Thierry, the stolid businessman who wants to take care of Yanne and the children. On the cusp of adolescence, an increasingly rebellious and restless Anouk does not understand. But soon the weathervane turns . . . and into their lives blows the charming and enigmatic Zozie de l’Alba. And everything begins to change.

Zozie offers the brightness Yanne’s life needs. Anouk, too, is dazzled by this vivacious woman with the lollipop-red shoes who seems to understand her better than anyone—especially her mother. Yet this friendship is not what it seems. Ruthless, devious, and seductive, Zozie has plans that will shake their world to pieces. And with everything she loves at stake, Yanne must face a difficult choice: Run, as she has done so many times before, or stand and confront this most dangerous enemy. . . .”

Questions:

  • Did you enjoy reading the book?
  • Did you like the style of three different narrators?    (All three write in the first person singular thus making all the accounts very personal & giving us three differing perspectives).
  • Each voice is marked by a little symbol at the beginning of the chapter: a cat in a circle for Zozie, a crescent moon in a circle for Anouk and a star in a circle for Vianne.  Did you notice this?
  • In what ways were the characters alike?
  • What did you feel were the agendas of each character?
  • Vianne tries to suppress her true self and her magic – Do you think it’s possible to change yourself?
  • How does Zozie make Vianne and Anouk dependent on her?
  • The Seedy Streets of Montmatre are quite a contrast from the countryside in Chocolat?  Do you see any similarities?

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