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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  7,902 ratings  ·  514 reviews
Joanne Harris's first novel, Chocolat, was set in the sleepy French village of Lansquenet, where enchantment, romance, and soft-centered truths issued from the local confectioner's shop. She returns to the same location for Blackberry Wine. But as the title suggests, she's shifted her focus from food to drink, choosing a half-dozen bottles of homemade plonk as the catalyst...more
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published (first published October 1999)
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The first time I tried to read Blackberry Wine apparently wasn't the right time to try to read this book. This time, though, I read it practically all in one go -- with, yeah, a glass of wine. Joanne Harris' prose is always easy to read, really clear, and I can believe in the characters she creates at least enough to carry on to the very last page. Joe, in particular, rang true with me: a miner's son, a gardener, a Yorkshire lad... Jay, perhaps not as much, particularly not at the beginning, but...more
Jenny Sparrow
"Ежевичное вино" - шестой роман Джоанн Харрис в моем зачете :)

Главный герой - англичанин-писатель Джей Макинтош, повинуясь чарам "Особых" вин, созданных эксцентричным садовником Джо, и детских воспоминаний, приезжает в уже знакомый нам городок Ланскне-су-Танн, чтобы разобраться в своем прошлом и найти своё будущее.

Я в восторге! Эта книга понравилась мне больше, чем все остальные (исключая, может быть, Леденцовые туфельки, хотя в целом, для меня сравнивать книги Харрис между собой по критерию "нр...more
Ellen Black
This is a beautiful book, written by the author who later wrote Chocolat. Blackberry Wine takes place in both England and the same small French town that is the setting for Chocolat.

Blackberry Wine tells the story of Jay, who as a boy, meets an eccentric man named Joe, who opens Jay's world to gardening and magic and homemade wine. As an adult and established author, Jay escapes his stifling life in England by buying a small cottage in Lansquenet, France, where he not only becomes a gardener, bu...more
I really enjoyed this. I liked the setting (England and France) and the magical quality of the story. I liked the old character, Joe and in my mind saw one of our library patrons playing his part. It made me want to read more of Harris's books. I like the way she conveys that there is more going on in our lives than meets the eye.

From Publishers Weekly
Like her well-received 1999 novel, Chocolat, Harris's latest outing unfolds around the arrival of an outsider in a tiny French town. This time win...more
Chris Eastvedt
I prefer tea….

I have mixed feelings about Blackberry Wine, unfortunately more negative than positive. For the first ten chapters I despised this book: I didn’t care about the characters, couldn’t care about the plot and wanted nothing more than to just get through the thing so I could move on to another story. Even though the chapters are short, fifty-seven pages is more than I want to wait for a story to get interesting.

Blackberry Wine describes the life of Jay, a one-hit-wonder in the literary...more
Of all the books written by Harris, this is my favorite by far. 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. Joe's past is never made clear; his tales become truth and his truths become tales. The one certainty is that Joe, in his ramshackle cabin knows all there is to know about gardening, herbs and their "magical" healing and protective powers, and wine-making. Althouogh the quality...more
My first novel by the author of Chocolat and I have to say I enjoyed it far more than expected.

The story of Jay Mackintosh, a 37 years old writer, famous because of an only novel written fifteen years ago. 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.
The novel moves forward and backwards in time, and the reader is able to know young Jay, when he meets Joe, an eccentric old man who leaves a deep impression in l...more
I read this book as a recommendation from my monthly book club. As someone who might be described as enjoying a glass of wine (perhaps two..), I was looking forward to reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the characters, the tiny town in France, the bottles of wine that "spoke" (I could relate to that), to Jay and to the belief that all good things can come from a little magic. Because I so enjoyed the movie Chocolat (I had not read the book), I went into this book thinking that it would...more
This book offers everything I want in a novel: magic, superstition, gardening, introspection, interesting characters, nostalgia. Yet another book I had to read with pen in hand so I could underline favorite passages. Similiar to Alice Hoffman, Joanne Harris is my new favorite author.
Jill Furedy
Unlike Chocolat, these characters couldn't hold their own, which is funny since the book is set near Lansquenet and the charcters from Chocolat hover in the sidelines throughout the story. Josephine and Caro and Georges Clairmont are the main people who interact with Jay, though Roux darts through various scenes as well. But Roux was never as charismatic in the book as he was in the movie, so I didn't mind his non-impact here..though it just seemed like odd name dropping by the author to continu...more
Nov 29, 2011 Judy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romance readers who like a twist
This was a reading group pick and I voted for it because I liked the movie "Chocolat" so wanted to read some books by this author. Blackberry Wine is pretty good; a romance made better because she addressed creativity, community, financial greed and a few other issues.

Jay Mackintosh is a blocked novelist, living in London with one of those business-like, smart, pushy young women who seem to run the world these days. He wrote one good novel but now can only write trash. Luckily the trash brings h...more
Blackberry Wine followed Harris's Chocolat, but well preceeded the movie of Chocolat that brought so many readers to her books. The timing of the writing of these books is relevent, because Blackberry Wine takes place in the same world as Chocolat, with a few characters making cameo appearences. Then came The Lollypop Shoes (or The Girl with No Shadow), a true sequel to Chocolat, and the casting and plot changes from the film are stamped all over the story. But Blackberry Wine continues with the...more
Fair warning: I’m on a bit of a Joanne Harris binge these days. ”Blackberry Wine” is the story of a writer, widely acclaimed for an insightful novel written fourteen years earlier and financially solvent from lesser sci-fi writing, who is now stuck on so many levels.
The novel alternates between Jay McIntosh’s memories of three summers over twenty years before and the present. Adolescent, lonely, left adrift by his parents’ egocentricity and divorce, Jay finds solace from an eccentric, mysteriou...more
It took me a while to get into this book, but by the end I really loved it. A feel-good book about a person having an internal crisis and his journey to a better place. We have all been there, but what makes this a beautiful story is how this man found himself in the unlikeliest of places.

I think the moral is that we need to be open to anything if we are going to succeed in life, but that also means having the wherewithal to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives and know when something is...more
Sever Gulea
Să-i spui unui iubitor de licori selecte că “vinul vorbeşte” pare să fie un lucru de la sine înţeles (Joanne Harris sugerează chiar, în debutul romanului său, că de fapt oricine ştie asta – de la oracolul de la colţul străzii şi până la prostul cel nebun). Pe de o parte, vinul vorbeşte direct degustătorului – o poveste despre recoltele fabuloase, despre timpul petrecut prin butoaie bine păstrate şi despre aromele florale sau fructate ale unor veri de neuitat. Pe de altă parte vinul este şi un bu...more
Christine Blachford
Jay wrote a book about his childhood neighbour and influential friend Joe. Now he’s being pushed to write a sequel, so he moves to rural France to escape the pressure. With the quiet solitude around him, he finds inspiration to write but then finds he likes this French world far more than his previous existence.

Jay seems to be a bit of a weak-willed and weak-minded character, but as we go through the book and learn things that happened in his childhood, it’s great to get a better understanding o...more
Sarah Sammis
Blackberry Wine is sickeningly sweet in its sentimentality but it does score points for having a unique narrator. The flashbacks to Pog Hill distract from the present day story. The book is tighter and more compelling a read when those chapters are skipped. When the story finally moves away from Jay's fond memories of how great Joe was and goes to the mystery of Jay's neighbor and her daughter Rosa the story hits its stride. I wish it had focused more on them and less on "Jackapple Joe."
This book, by the author of Chocolat (one of my all time favorite novels and movies), captured me from the very first page. The story of Jay Macintosh shifts back and forth between the present and the past, especially three summers during his adolescence when he met Joe Cox, an old man who had an enormous influence on Jay's life. Jay is a writer, whose first novel (about Joe) was a great success but who has been unable to write anything worth publishing for 15 years. He moves from London to a sm...more
It is the first book I've read by this author and I can't say I'm impressed. The characters are terribly stereotyped (the writer who needs to go back to nature to reach fulfilment, his selfish and ambitious girlfriend, the mysterious down-to-earth woman, the evil mother-in-law) and so superficially described it feels almost like a parody. The clever gypsies, the quaint French never ends. Especially the "spiritual" new-age guidance of Joe is hard to take seriously after he starts sho...more
Miss B
I love Joanne Harris and her evocative writing. 'Blackberry Wine', for me, felt unconvincing. I enjoy an unusual narrator (step forward, bottle of magical vino) but this felt clunky and unnatural. As for Jay Mackintosh, I felt he was quite unlikeable and I didn't really root for him or relate to his character, man or boy. The Kerry character (similar to the vicious materialist Laure in 'Five Quarters of the Orange') felt two-dimensional and stereotypical.

The flashbacks to Jackapple Joe were ent...more
Keith Hillman
I found it quite odd reading the words of a bottle of wine! But what a delightful book. Never particularly challenging, and no great twists or turns. Just a gentle read which I found difficult to put down. I would have given it 5 stars had I not recently read her wonderful Lollipop Shoes which right now is one of the best books I've ever read. ...
Steph Burton
A weird mish-mash of ideas in this novel which is irritatingly narrated by a bottle of wine. There are other 'magical' bottles too but fortunately they fade out as each is drunk. The two-part storyline describes Jay's teenage summers of rural 1970s idyll and I enjoyed these sections, particularly his relationship with Joe who is by far the best character in the whole book. However, young Jay's chapters alternate with those of adult Jay, a self-obsessed alcoholic who emigrates to rural France in...more
Похоже, у Харрис такой фирменный стиль - маленькие городки, Франция, обыденное волшебство, цыгане на заднем плане, матери-одиночки с дочками, непонятые окружающими, и несколько секретов в шкафу. Во всяком случае, *Ежевичное вино* и *Шоколад* этим всем очень похожи.
*Ежевичное вино* - роман взросления. Запоздалого возможно, но взросления. Главный герой пытается разобраться с собой (уже довольно длиииительное время) и в себе, в чем ему, незадачливому английскому писателю, очень помогает одна францу...more
I enjoy Harris for her ways of winding fiction, food, wine, countryside all together. The plot had a little twist - a little far fetched but I enjoyed all of it. A coming of age story, a story of someone finding their way. Would have given a 3.5 if possible.
Leanne Smith
Loved this book. Even better when accompanied with a good glass of wine as autumn approaches. A bit different from some of the other Joanne Harris books I have read but thoroughly enjoyable with fantastic characters and vivid descriptions of French village life.
Alanna P
This is my favorite book by Joanne Harris yet. I love the way the author builds characters, develops mysterious story lines, and leads the imagination to impossibly possible conclusions. There is something to be said for believing in yourself and those around you!
I had trouble deciding whether I liked this book at the beginning, but I was won over. It was hard to separate this story that takes place in Lansquenet from the Chocolat series. I felt like someone who returns to the old hometown and things have changed, people have moved on. Then, by chance you bump into a former acquaintance, Josephine, Roux, Poitou, Narcisse and there is a spark of joy, memories. That is how this book endeared itself to me. I was able to bump into those former, less prominen...more
Alīna Rence
Nezinu, kas bija man par problēmu ar šo grāmatu. Pēc citu lasītāju atsauksmēm tā izklausās vienkārši lieliska lasāmviela, turklāt tieši manā gaumē. Bet nē, kaut kā man tomēr negāja tik "gludi". Ļoti ilgi grāmata mani nespēja ieinteresēt (un tā gadās diezgan reti). Visu laiku gaidīju, kad tad tas notiks, kad beidzot būs tā, ka es ar nepacietību gaidīšu nākamo nodaļu. Bet tā nenotika līdz pašām pēdējām nodaļām. Tāpat arī ar tēliem - tie man nešķita interesanti. Pat noslēpumainie - tie, kam it kā j...more
After enjoying Chocolat so much, I couldn't wait to read another book by this author, but I remember being very disappointed in this book. Not quite in the same league as Chocolat or even Five Quarters of an Orange.
Jul 02, 2012 Jamie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lauren
Recommended to Jamie by: Sue
By the author of Chocolat: Good "power-out" reading, tiny French villages never seem to have too much electricity in your face. I enjoyed the gardening info, and Joe's T-shirts.
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Read by Theme: Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris 1 13 Jan 05, 2013 08:25PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Joanne Harris was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels; The Evil Seed (1989), Sle...more
More about Joanne Harris...
Chocolat (Chocolat, #1) Five Quarters of the Orange The Girl with No Shadow (Chocolat, #2) Gentlemen and Players Holy Fools

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“You don't write because someone sets assignments! You write because you need to write, or because you hope someone will listen or because writing will mend something broken inside you or bring something back to life.” 54 likes
“Some things can be both real and imaginary at the same time, . . . some lies can be true, . . . broken faith may be restored.” 38 likes
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