Even though I’m giving this book the same rating as I did Chocolat (The Food Trilogy, #1). This part of Harris’ story is actually well done. Though I also wish Harris could have expanded Jean-Loup’s character a little more. At times, even though he’s technically present in a scene, he gets pushed aside as other elements of the plot take precedence; and after everything concludes, you’re left wondering, “Well, what happened to him and the rest of the bystanders?”
Even though I do typically enjoy reading split narratives, I had some reservations here. I respect what Harris was trying to do, i.e. enhancing the personal nature of the text, showing the fine lines that exist between good and evil—bad magic v.s. good magic, especially when influenced by a tempting evil force. In essence, Zozie’s a darker version of Vianne. But, this is also where the text gets confusing. As the story progresses, the voices of our three narrators begin to merge, blending together to sound like one person narrating three different stories. When you consider the plot, the blending of the voices makes sense. But, if it weren’t for the three illustrations at the beginning of each chapter—each illustration a representation of the narrator—it’s quite difficult to discern which of the three characters is narrating from reading the first paragraph of a chapter. For a third of the book, I did try to go without using the illustrations as a guide for my reading. But even for me, I found it a difficult exercise.
That said, the story is quite interesting and it does offer more closure than the ending of Chocolat
. And I recently read that Joanne Harris has an idea for a third book—another glimpse into the lives of Vianne and her family. I wouldn’t mind reading it, since I do like the characters. However from the Harris novels I’ve read so far, I do believe Holy Fools and her young adult novel, [b:Runemarks|633446|Runemarks|Joanne Harris|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5150JI9Ft8L._SL75_.jpg|619740] are better books.