As in the first book, the story is made up of a series of short stories, each about something that Kiki delivers. In the first book, many of the episodes were less realistic than the film, involving fantastic absurdities. Some of the early episodes of the second book are in the same style (e. g. "Kiki delivers a hippo"); but as it proceeds, this aspect is cut back and there is more emphasis on character development. Curiously, much of this part of the story resembles additions that the film made to the first book: Kiki becomes less able to fly; although she can still talk to her cat Jiji, he is less keen to accompany her; she is jealous of a normal girl she sees with Tombo. Other aspects of the crisis of confidence in the book differ from the film and have more to do with her uncertainty about whether what she is doing is worthwhile, after one mission fails and another involves delivering something unwelcome to the recipient.
As her flying becomes less reliable, she takes to walking more, and borrows a pretty dress from a second hand clothes shop to feel like she is not a witch, just for a little while. She spends her savings on an ice at an expensive restaurant that overlooks the sea.
When she had finished eating Kiki propped her face with one hand and gazed at the sea.In the end, Kiki takes her unhappiness as the spur to look for a new direction and adds a different magic to her flying. Readers of the first book may remember that something like this decision was already at least suggested at the end of that. It's probably fair to say that both books take a leisurely pace with new developments; but it's not a book I read resenting the time spent on it.
Then, recalling how Mimi had looked as she smiled up at Tombo, she copied the smile, showing gleaming white teeth. But the only people to see were the restaurant waiters; and they were all just standing in a row like white pillars.