by Joanne Harris
This book is the sequel to Harris' "Chocolat." It has the same magical, mysterious atmosphere and tone. But also feels cozy and alluring.
I prefer this book to "Chocolat," Probably because there is no movie of it for me to have seen before I read it, so it feels original and authentic. Though I was a little sad to see there is a sequel because I wanted to believe Vianne and Anouk stayed in Lasquanet-sous-Tannes. I am glad that Harris resolved Vianne's relationship with Roux in this book, because the way it was crafted and left in "Chocolat" was, frankly, a little ridiculous.
"The Girl With No Shadow" is structured almost exactly as "Chocolat," but that by no means makes them painfully similar, as might be expected. Yet "Chocolat" and "The Girl With No Shadow" are very similar in terms of circumstance and characters. However the plot is thicker in "The Girl With No Shadow," it's more of a mystery, which adds some more depth to the book. There also is a much stronger sense of suspense in this book, which makes it nearly impossible to put down in the last hundred pages or so.
The one real issue I have with this book is the repetition. Certain thoughts were brought up over and over again by different characters. It made me wonder if she read her work from chapter to chapter. Or did her editor? But it gets better, or just becomes less noticeable as the book moves a long.
I really enjoy the way the fairytale stories from Vianne/Yanne's mother are told and then are woven into the plot of the book. It's a nice cohesiveness and adds to the magic of the book.
If you've read "Chocolat" and liked it, I recommend reading "The Girl With No Shadow." It ties up loose ends, and is a really fun, engrossing read.