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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Chocolat
I'm totally fascinated. Blackberry Wine is yeat an other wonderful Joanne Harris-book. I love them. This time it is writer Jay Makintosh who has to make up with his past involving the betrayal of an old friend. Harris keeps writing about the same themes in book after book. But that's really nothing negative. It's great. There definitely is a great bit of nostalgia over...
Published on 21 Aug. 2005 by Faith

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good sequel to Chocolat, but could have been better!
It felt a bit raw and undeveloped (as if the author was in a hurry to finish it before the Chocolat euphoria faded). Parts of the storyline were unconvincing (the connections/analogies between Marise and Joe, the improbable caricature of Kerry, the fact that every interesting female had red/chestnut hair and green eyes...). The interludes back to the past became a drudge...
Published on 7 Jan. 2002 by Keith Lucas


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Chocolat, 21 Aug. 2005
By 
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
I'm totally fascinated. Blackberry Wine is yeat an other wonderful Joanne Harris-book. I love them. This time it is writer Jay Makintosh who has to make up with his past involving the betrayal of an old friend. Harris keeps writing about the same themes in book after book. But that's really nothing negative. It's great. There definitely is a great bit of nostalgia over her books.
Besides haunting pasts one of her themes is small villages and the speciall kind of societys they make. Everybody knows everybody and that's very bad when you are excluded, but when yua are included it's really great. An interesting thing about Backberry Wine is that it is set in the sam small village, Lansquenet, where Harris' most famous book Chocolat is set. We do actually meet the same characters again, and only the main charcters are different. So as always, Harris is a master of describing "the French idyl". This time, however, a importatnt part of the book is set in England. Maybe England and France aren't so differnt after all. Well...
As for the symbolism. Harris is a master of that also. Blackberry wine reveals secrets. There's a gret deal of magic over it, just like over the chocolate in Chocolat. Blackberry wine is something mysterious, but this time not dangerous like the oranges in Five Qarters of an Orange. It rather stands for safety and comfort, being what Jay has left of his old friend Joe.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical and inspring!, 17 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
Being a Joanne Harris fan I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I am so pleased I did. Being a wine drinker myself it had me wanting to open up a bottle, and I have even started to call mine 'Specials!' LOL.

The book is about friendship between an old man Joe Cox and a teenage boy Jay Mackintosh. How Jay looks up to Joe and he learns about the magic in Joes life, and how Joe lives. Joe is connected to the magic of nature. and this facinates Jay.

Joe loves to make wine, and in later life Jay has some of these 'Specials', as he drinks them memories of the past rise and a journey begins. I won't go on about the story more than I have, as this story truly is magical.

In the book a bottle of wine begins to tell the story, this I felt was a great way to start the book. I have no problem with reading about an inanimate object talking, and I found it to be interesting and original. I have read that it put a small minority of other people off the book, but don't let other peoples opinions sway you. I highly recommend this book.

I could relate to some of the things in this book, with me being someone who respects nature and also believes in magic. Another thing I loved about this book, is some of the charaters from Joanne's book 'Chocolat' are in this book too, as some of this book is set in the French town of Lansquenet.

For me the book was a wonderful read, it tugged at my emotions, and I felt as though I was looking through Jays eyes, feeling his happiness, and his sadness.

A fabulous book to sit down and unwind with, the sort of book you sit down snuggled up on your bed, or by the fire and read.

My Verdict: Magical and inspring!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magic...., 5 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
I was given this book as a gift - sceptical at first and thinking it wasn't really my scene, but soon realising how wrong I was and finishing it in just over a day. Joanne Harris has a great skill for transporting the reader into the sights and sounds of the french landscape - 'layman's alchemy' as old Joe would say. Read the book and you'll understand. Magical....I shall definately soon be investing in 'chocolat.'
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative images following up the traditions of Chocolat, 7 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Hardcover)
In both of her books to date (Chocolat and Blackberry Wine), the ability of Joanne Harris to conjure up evocative images of food, places and people is unsurpassed. It makes you feel like you are actually standing with the characters seeing and smelling everything that they see and smell.
Blackberry Wine typifies this perfectly by using an old fashioned allotment as its starting point followed by the same town in France developed in Chocolat. The story is good (although not great) and there is one excellent character in Joe - the master gardener / magician!
If you like feel-good books with an occassional twist, this book is definately worth reading.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious feast of a book, 5 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
What a fabulous read...emotive childhood scenes, the sure touch of the author`s pen guides us through childhood,its complexities and anxieties, through to the wilderness of adult life. Familiar themes of other worldliness and sorcery entwine with the grounding earthiness of gardens and vines. A delicious, enjoyable and thought provoking read - buy it!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blackberry wine-a nostalgic ,cheeky little number!, 10 April 2006
By 
MissS E. Cresswell "skywalker" (Barrow-upon-Humber, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
I have read and re-read this book ,thoroughly enjoying it afresh each time. Don't be put off by the unusual beginning with bottles of wine seemingly talking to one another. Read on. The story starts with a struggling author,Jay Macintosh trying to recapture his early literary success. There are many flashbacks to his lonely childhood and his friendship with Jackapple Joe,a fantastic character. Jackapple Joe is an elderly ex-miner,dedicated to his garden and his specials and full of mystical, homespun wisdom. Jay feels driven to leave everything behind to live in France where Joe's influence and alchemy is still potent and where he helps Jay resolve his struggle.
A lovely book, told with great skill and poignancy. I suppose it's a modern day "Cider with Rosie" but so much better than that. Delightful!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, unputdownable book!, 28 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
As enjoyable a read as Jostein Gaarder's "Sophie's World", after the first few chapters I couldn't put this book down. I was transported back to happy childhood days spent with my grandfather in his garden & in the kitchen making (then eating!) damson jam & lemon curd. A definite feel-good book, along the lines of H E Bates' Larkin books, I'd recommend it to all my friends & will want to read it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating, unusual and complex story., 18 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
After finding Chocolat a bit difficult to get into, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which the pages of Blackberry Wine just flew by. The story is captivating and well paced. The past and the present are expertly mixed so that the reader passes from one to the other effortlessly and without losing track of the story line. There is a bit of everything to please everyone, suspense, romance and intrigue and the idea of a bottle of wine as narrator is innovative and works very well. In short buy this novel and savour it just like a bottle of good wine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical!, 13 May 2007
By 
D miles "Vicky40" (West Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
I have read 'Chocolat', 'Sleep Pale Sister' and 'Gentleman and Players' by Joanne Harris and enjoyed them all. 'Blackberry Wine' definitely did not let the side down. The tale is told by a bottle of very special wine and this alone makes the story intriguing, mysterious and different. A tale of childhood memories and special friendships unfolds and impacts into present day. As with many of the author's books, a little bit of magic makes events take an unexpected turn and the bottles of 'special' wine rattle with excitement in their hiding place.......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another delicious read by Joanne Harris, 17 Jun. 2010
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Blackberry Wine (Paperback)
Meet Jay: a renowned English author who impulsively buys a tumbledown house in Lansquenet, rural France in the hope that a new start might just cure his writers block. Jay's reclusive neighbour Marise and her mischievous daughter Rosa certainly provide him with the basis of a new story, but other quirky characters soon abound in this magical tale.

Harris masterfully alternates between 1970's Yorkshire and 1990's France, with flashbacks to eccentric Joe, a vegetable grower who Jay knew in his youth and taught him about making homemade wine- and the present day's eclectic French locals. The imagery in the story is so skilful that as a reader you can almost taste the wine slipping down your throat and smell the earthiness of the vegetables.

Some parts of the novel are sad, others bittersweet, but all in all the flow of the story ties together beautifully- I particularly enjoyed the context of the narrator! Genius. Whilst the novel didn't quite enthral me in the same way `Chocolat' or `Coastliners' did, I still enjoyed it immensely and was sorry when I finished it. I also loved the fact that this was set in the same village that Chocolat was. Definitely one to curl up with on a rainy day and dream about sunnier climes. Infact, I want to head to rural France right now! Four stars from me.
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Blackberry Wine
Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris (Paperback - 1 April 2001)
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