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The Girl with No Shadow Paperback – January 6, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Chocolat Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harris revisits characters from 1999's bestselling Chocolat in this equally delectable modern fairy tale. More than four years have passed since Vianne Rocher pitted her enchanted chocolate confections against the local clergy's interpretation of Lent in smalltown France; since then, Vianne has renounced magic, changed her name to Yanne Charbonneau and moved with her two daughters to Paris's Montmartre district. There, Yanne embraces conformity and safety, much to the dismay of her increasingly troubled older daughter, Anouk. When Anouk becomes entranced with Zozie de l'Alba, an exotic itinerant who happens upon a job at the new shop, and the relationship grows increasingly sinister, Yanne must call up all of Vianne's powers, culinary and mystical, to save her family. Harris again structures the narrative (told in alternate chapters by Zozie, Yanne and Anouk) around a liturgical season (in this case Advent). Harris gives fans much to savor in this multilayered novel, from the descriptions (including Yanne's mouthwatering chocolate confections, Zozie's whimsical footwear and Anouk's artistic efforts) to the novel's classic, enduring theme of good vs. evil—and the difficulty of telling the difference. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

The Washington Post asks the leading question: “[Vianne and Anouk] were unforgettable characters. … Will readers be pleased or disappointed as [Joanne] Harris makes them grow and change?” At first, the novel doesn’t seem promising: Vianne renounces her magical powers and contemplates a marriage of convenience. Anouk starts school. The sleepy French village has been replaced by a 21st-century Parisian neighborhood. However, critics agree that the magic is still there. The characters and their relationships are seamlessly crafted, their lives skillfully interwoven. Harris’s prose is lush and laden with mouth-watering descriptions of Vianne’s homemade delights. Darker and denser than its predecessor, The Girl With No Shadow may take some readers by surprise, but most will revel in the return of the Rochers.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; 1st edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006143163X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061431630
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Joanne Harris's sequel to her sly, clever novel, Chocolat, finds Vianne and her two daughters living in Paris four years after the wind blew them out of the village of Lansquenet. Gone is the magic that enriched their lives and transformed the village, and that is fine by Vianne. Now calling herself Yanne, she only wants her family to be normal and safe, and on the surface, it seems to be. Anouk is now a pre-teen with an early adolescent's normal angst. Her younger sister, Rosette, appears intelligent enough even if she can't talk. And Yanne herself is soon to be engaged to her staid bourgeois landlord. Life couldn't be more ordinary, until the fateful wind blows into their lives a mysterious and exotic woman who seems to know all about "Yanne" and her family. Soon Vianne faces an adversary who threatens everything she holds dear and whose skills are as great as her own.

Although it's a sequel to Chocolat, The Girl With No Shadow is not Chocolat II. It is a darker, grittier story of mothers and daughters, love and loss. Although readers may expect the same Disneyesque charm of the first novel, this contemporary fairy-tale is more in the vein of the Brothers Grimm. My only quibble is I missed the zest of earlier Vianne during most of the story. The villain was a much more compelling creation. Nevertheless, fans who want to follow the characters from Chocolat will enjoy this book.
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While in France last week I discovered The Lollipop Shoes in a book store and read the first two lines on the back cover. Not only was I hooked, I couldn't get the euros out of my pocket fast enough. This is the sequel to Chocolat (one of my favorite novels) and picks up four years after the last story ends. While it is told in the first person from 3 different people I did not find it difficult to decide who was speaking. It is part of the charm of the story.

Joanne Harris has a true knack for narrating the yin and yang in life. She did an amazing job in Chocolat and continues to do so in Lollipop Shoes. Her characters are wonderfully developed and very realistic. I do recommend reading Chocolat first if you want the background of the main characters going into this novel. My interest was held from the first page to the last.

When Ms. Harris uses food in the titles of her books, you are in for a feast. Bon appetit!
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Format: Hardcover
Joanne Harris's Girl With No Shadow comes a decade after the original novel Chocolat, later made into a feature film (Chocolat (Miramax Collector's Series))starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Chocolat revolved around the culinary magic of Vianne Rocher, an unorthodox chocolatiere who includes a sprinkle of magic that shakes up the local conservative villagers. In Girl With No Shadow, Vianne, now renamed Yanne Charbonneau, has relocated to Paris after fleeing several other bad situations. She has shunned her magical tendencies, putting away the tarot cards and forbidding incantations by Anouk (renamed Annie), thereby trading her individuality for a stable life at the side of Thierry Le Tresset, wealthy (and stuffy) bachelor.

The novel is told from the (confusing) viewpoint of three different characters: Vianne, Anouk, and Zozie de l'Alba in a narrow timeframe ranging from October 31 to December 24. At times, the three are commenting on events happening on the same day. Vianne's past literally comes back to haunt her in the form of the mysterious Zozie, and the young Anouk is sliding into perilous teenage rebellion, hanging out in cemeteries and engaging in forbidden acts of magic.

The cast of characters is too large to be explored in detail, and even the appearance of an old friend from the original novel is lost in the fray. Having three narrators fails to solidify the action, and it took me a few chapters to clue in that different characters were narrating (the images at the top of the chapters are different for each character).
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Format: Hardcover
The Girl with No Shadow is an absolutely brilliant sequel to Chocolat.

If you also enjoyed Gentlemen and Players then you'll find this newest novel doubly delightful.

No, the novel is not Disneyesque; but then neither was "Chocolat" really.

More like the Talented Mr.Ripley takes a trip to the Twilight Zone and meets Harry Potter in Paris. :-)

What I found interesting was how the story was told from the perspective of three different characters, leaving you to guess for a few seconds at the beginning of each chapter as to who was now speaking.

The reader is also left tantalizingly guessing, even at the end, at just exactly how effective any of the "magic" really was, or was it all simply scheming and social engineering and the occasional fortutitous or not happenstance.

Joanne Harris has over the years honed and perfected her skills as a writer by producing an unbroken series of novels with an intriguing storyline and an engaging cast of characters. "The Girl with No Shadow" demonstrates convincingly that Ms. Harris continues to get better and better at her craft.
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