Joanne Harris is famous for her book Chocolat (another Bon Livre), but my personal favourite is Blackberry Wine. Not really surprising, as the overall concept is about wine (a personal favourite focus), but also I adore that it is narrated by a bottle of wine. That unusual aspect in itself made me wish to read this book.
Blackberry Wine with Chocolate
Blackberry Wine is in a sense a follow-on to Chocolat, in that it takes place in and around the same village, with a few of the same characters popping into the story. In consequence, it has a similar style of writing, and reading, as Chocolat. So if you liked the one book, you should enjoy this one as well. (And if you haven’t read Chocolat, I do recommend it. Hey, what’s not to like about chocolate?)
In Blackberry Wine the main character is an English author who has lost his spark and direction in life. Due to a case of fruit wines (but, of course!), the main character, Jay Mackintosh, begins to review and change his life, often with quirky results. I don’t wish to give too much away, as well as it’s a somewhat strange book, so it’s also difficult to explain it easily. In other words, typical Joanne Harris style, but this one in her fun, make you smile style.
Hook, Wine and Sinker
I picked this book up on a whim, not because it was Joanne Harris, but because it had the word Wine in the title and I thought it would be a good present for Pumpjack (he who makes wine). Then I made the mistake of opening the book, read the first paragraph, and was hooked. He never did receive the book as a gift.
“Wine talks; ask anyone. The oracle at the street corner; the uninvited guest at the wedding feast; the holy fool. It ventriloquizes. It has a million voices. It unleashes the tongue, teasing out secrets you never meant to tell, secrets you never even knew. It shouts, rants, whispers. It speaks of great plans, tragic loves and terrible betrayals. It screams with laughter. It chuckles softly to itself. It weeps in front of its own reflection. It revives summers long past and memories best forgotten.”
Fancy a Read? You can preview and/or buy it here…
Of note, I understand that the US and UK versions vary a lot. It is the UK version in which the story is narrated by the bottle of wine. For some reason, this was changed for the US version. I strongly recommend the UK version if you can.
And if you haven’t read Chocolat, I recommend that as well (but, personally, if you have to choose one, go with Blackberry Wine).
Our Book Club Disclosure
At our Vive le Livre Book Club we only recommend books we have actually read and honestly liked. We are affiliated with Amazon so that if you would like to read a book that we recommend (whether on kindle or the real deal), we are able to provide a direct link for you to order it. If you do follow our link, and buy Blackberry Wine (within 24 hours), we will get a small (and we do mean small, but every bit counts towards a chicken run) percentage. Using our links will not cost you anything – other than the cost of the actual book, if you buy it of course – but it will be appreciated by us, and our animals. And for that, you get a heart felt Merci! (Woof! Meow! Quack! Cluck!)
Our affiliation is currently with Amazon UK – no problem if you are buying for a kindle or similar, or would like the real deal and live in the UK. Postage for a book elsewhere would mean it is best to look for this read on your ‘local’ Amazon. We don’t gain anything, c’est la vie, but you get a lovely book to read. We are striving towards affiliating further afield, but it is alas not a very quick process.
We also offer a selection of vintage book finds, mostly English, some French in our Shop.
If you would like to read more about our Affiliates, visit our Nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick page.