Blackberry Wine by Joanne HarrisBlackberry Wine by Joanne Harris

Blackberry Wine

byJoanne Harris

Paperback | May 1, 2001

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As a boy, writer Jay Mackintosh spent three golden summers in the ramshackle home of "Jackapple Joe" Cox. A lonely child, he found solace in Old Joe's simple wisdom and folk charms. The magic was lost, however, when Joe disappeared without warning one fall.

Years later, Jay's life is stalled with regret and ennui. His bestselling novel, Jackapple Joe, was published ten years earlier and he has written nothing since. Impulsively, he decides to leave his urban life in London and, sight unseen, purchases a farmhouse in the remote French village of Lansquenet. There, in that strange and yet strangely familiar place, Jay hopes to re-create the magic of those golden childhood summers. And while the spirit of Joe is calling to him, it is actually a similarly haunted, reclusive woman who will ultimately help Jay find himself again.

Joanne Harris was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England on July 3, 1964. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. While working as a teacher for fifteen years, she published three novels: The Evil Seed (1989), Sleep, Pale Sister (1993) and Chocolat (1999), which was made into a film starring Julie...
Title:Blackberry WineFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.08 × 5.36 × 0.89 inPublished:May 1, 2001Publisher:Harper PerennialLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0380815923

ISBN - 13:9780380815920

Appropriate for ages: 8 - 12


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read Good mix of nostalgia and travel with every day living. A study of friendship and how people need each other in life to appreciate what nature has to offer.
Date published: 2018-06-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Life Inspired by Everyday Magic Like Chocolat, Blackberry Wine appeals to our senses of taste and smell. It strokes to life our recollections of the perfect wine long forgotten. The title itself suggests a knowledge of a secret recipe perhaps passed down. Most unusual is that this story is narrated by “Fleurie, 1962”, a wine with a hint of blackberry, the last surviving bottle from a crate of twelve. Fleurie observes, dryly, as Jay marks the significant events of his life by uncorking one of the “Specials” passed on to him by Jackapple Joe, a wizened subsistence farmer. Joe becomes Jay’s bohemian mentor by happenstance at a time when Jay needed a caring adult in his life. Joe teaches Jay to respect the land, the plants, the zen of agriculture. He coaxes from the earth all that he needs to survive on a scrap of land “borrowed” from the railway. He cans, preserves and ferments everything from elderflower to raspberry to potatoes. His tall tales of mining and world travel transport Jay from the neglect and bullying he faces outside of the garden. He slips him a pouch of herbs, “everyday magic” he tells him, that will ward off the evil bullies. What he really slips him is a panacea that serves to bolster his confidence and inspires him to take risks. His consistent message to Jay is to have faith. Faith that the earth when properly cared for can be relied upon to produce. Faith in himself and in his own abilities. Later in life Jay applies this advice producing a bestselling book based on his friendship with Jackapple Joe. But the euphoria eventually fades as do his memories of his mentor and Jay reverts back to the frightened, emotionally closed personality of his youth. Then, inspired by a memory, Joe impulse-buys a neglected farmhouse in France. He becomes intrigued by Marise, the secretive woman living next door. That’s when Joe, or the ghost of Joe appears, dispensing advice on love and gardening with all the acerbic charm of the old Joe. But it can’t be. He can be nothing more tangible than a recollection of the perfect wine long forgotten. Yet it is enough. It is all the everyday magic Jay needs to take the courageous step out of himself. To take a risk. To really live.
Date published: 2006-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoy with a nice botle of Blackberry Wine! Wine talks. That is the first sentence in this dazzling book, one that will grip you from the first page. Joanne Harris's writing never fails to amaze me.She enters hints of magic laced within everyday events in such a believable fashion, that you come away form her books a little more inspired, a little more grateful for your world and your life.
Date published: 2006-08-01

Editorial Reviews

?A charming fairy tale for grown-ups.?--"Kirkus Reviews?An entertaining narrative, equal parts whimsy and drama.? --"Publisher's Weekly"Harris' best-selling novel "Chocolat [was] a frothy cup of spicy chocolate [that] could liberate and transform lives . . . "Blackberry Wine takes us to similar imaginative territory."--"The San Francisco Chronicle"[Harris'] voice is crisp and sure, touching the edges of things with cool light . . . as reliably darling as ["Chocolat] . . . a well-crafted escape into a world where lessons can be learned and evil [can] be given the slip."--"Seattle Times""Blackberry Wine is a classic of a beach book . . . [a] poetic pastiche of magical realism and travelogue-by-surrogate . . . in Harris' hands the gentle tug of the past is like a tsunami.""Lost summers -- described vividly and nostalgiacally -- form the heart of the novel . . Harris has a lively and original talent."--"Sunday Times, London