Blackberry Wine
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Blackberry Wine

By (author) Joanne Harris

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Jay Mackintosh is trapped by memory in the old familiar landscape of his childhood, to which he longs to return. A bottle of home-brewed wine left to him by a long-vanished friend seems to provide the key to an old mystery. As the unusual properties of the strange brew take effect, Jay escapes to a derelict farmhouse in the French village of Lansquenet. There, a ghost from the past waits to confront him, and the reclusive Marise - haunted, lovely and dangerous - hides a terrible secret behind her closed shutters. Between them, a mysterious chemistry. Or could it be magic?

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  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 28mm | 220g
  • 31 Mar 2011
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London
  • English
  • 0552998001
  • 9780552998000
  • 47,546

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Author Information

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a Doctor Who novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game Zombies, Run!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television. In 2000, her 1999 novel Chocolat was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.

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Review quote

"Touching, funny and clever" Daily Telegraph "A lively and original talent" The Sunday Times "Joanne Harris has the gift of conveying her delight in the sensuous pleasures of food, wine, scent and plants... Blackberry Wine has all the appeal of a velvety scented glass of vintage wine" Daily Mail "Thickly sensuous, wildly indulgent magical escapism: Chocolat lovers will drink deeply" Guardian

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Review text

Harris (Chocolat, 1999) returns with a charming fairy tale for grown-ups, including all those seductive elements of contemporary fantasies: a house in the French countryside, potions and healers with the power to transform, love that is always tender, if seldom convincing.Now in his 30s, Jay Mackintosh has failed to produce a successor to the acclaimed novel celebrating English village life that he wrote ten years ago. Jay puts bread on the table with science-fiction thrillers cranked out under a pseudonym, but otherwise he has a serious case of writer's block. Then one night Jay opens one of old Joe Cox's fruit wines and starts recalling the summers he spent working with Joe in his garden on Pog Hill in the former mining town of Kirby Monckton. Jay's lonely adolescent summers (his wealthy parents had separated) were transformed by meeting retired coal miner Joe, and these memories alternate with the sudden changes in his present life in London. The day after drinking the bottle of wine, Jay receives a brochure in the mail advertising a chteau for sale in the heart of the Dordogne. He thinks it's a sign from long-lost Joe, a healer, potion-maker, and fabulist who always talked of one day owning a ch teau in France. Energized, Jay buys the chteau, leaves London and girlfriend Kerry, and becomes the lord of a crumbling but promising French estate. There, he meets a colorful range of rural characters who soon make him feel welcome, but he's most intrigued by his neighbor, the beautiful but elusive young widow Marise, and her supposedly deaf daughter, Rosa. As Jay begins writing a new novel, clearing the property, and planting as his mentor had taught him, a disembodied Joe appears to counsel and criticize. Jay learns why the villagers shun Marise and, in a story that can only end well, finds the happiness he lost when Joe disappeared from Pog Hill 20 years ago.Sweet and lite. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Back cover copy

Jay Mackintosh is trapped by memory in the old familiar landscape of his childhood, to which he longs to return. A bottle of home-brewed wine left to him by a long-vanished friend seems to provide the key to an old mystery. As the unusual properties of the strange brew take effect, Jay escapes to a derelict farmhouse in the French village of Lansquenet. There, a ghost from the past waits to confront him, and the reclusive Marise – haunted, lovely and dangerous – hides a terrible secret behind her closed shutters. Between them, a mysterious chemistry. Or could it be magic?

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