Posted 20 hours ago

Blackberry Wine: from Joanne Harris, the bestselling author of Chocolat, comes a tantalising, sensuous and magical novel which takes us back to the charming French village of Lansquenet

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Jay the adult reverts back to the child he was time and again in his bitterness at being abandoned by the old man’s sudden parting, continuing the legacy. Under the influence of this magical home-brew, Jay finds himself behaving in a more and more erratic way. Grab a glass of wine, join in the fun, and laugh along with me as I slowdown a moment from the restoration chaos. His big selling novel was several years earlier and he hadn’t been able to replicate that book for lack of ideas. Via astral projection, his friend/mentor Joe, visits the farmhouse to continue giving the advice he started in Jay’s youth.

The three of them, Cassis, Reinette, and Framboise, surreptitiously make the body disappear, and never discuss the incident again.

Although the story has many fantastical elements the only thing that struck a somewhat odd note for me was Marise's past.

Fortunately I have rather more to keep me grounded in the real world than Jay – living with an eight-year-old is a terrific antidote to living in the past – and I tried not to think too much about Chocolat as I was writing, knowing that all literary successes are heavily dogged by the curse of expectation. Blackberry Wine is in a sense a follow-on to Chocolat*, in that it takes place in and around the same French village with a few of the same characters popping into the story.His personal relationships are minimal, he hardly allows himself aspirations, avoiding any real work. Determined to 'redeem' him (and recognising the book's potential) she prepares for a massive publicity stunt, that would reveal Jay's whereabouts to the press. Jay seems to have lost inspiration and faith in the magic of life, as if all these feelings had been spent in that successful novel. This fiercely independent woman lives alone with her deaf daughter, and although she resists all Jay's attempts to get to know her, he becomes increasingly fascinated by her.

They are about real things and independence and rawness and grief and they make you want to live a wilder, less artificial life and enjoy every damn fruit you eat. Now, Jay has decided to follow his dream and move to a quaint village in France -Lansquenet- where he bought a run-down farm house and began writing another book. It is a delightful tale of young Jay MacIntosh and the friendship he develops with Joe Cox over the course of 3 summers spent at a small village in England. When Jay stumbles across an advertisement for an 18th-century "chateau" in wine-growing country, the spell of his misery is broken.In Norse myth the whole world ended with Ragnarók, the last battle, at which the gods were defeated and after which eternal winter descended. He is passionate about preserving rare species of plants, and has an extensive rare seed collection, which he eventually leaves in Jay's care.

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