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Blackberry Wine

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  14,889 ratings  ·  980 reviews
As a boy, writer Jay Mackintosh spent three golden summers in the ramshackle home of "Jackapple Joe" Cox. A lonely child, he found solace in Old Joe's simple wisdom and folk charms. The magic was lost, however, when Joe disappeared without warning one fall.

Years later, Jay's life is stalled with regret and ennui. His bestselling novel, Jackapple Joe, was published ten yea
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published September 28th 1999)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,889 ratings  ·  980 reviews

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Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This lovely story about Jay & Jackapple Joe is one of my all time favourite books. I could read it over & over again.
A story filled with nostalgia, a yearning for wonderful childhood memories, magic and trust. Jay goes on a journey of faith and self discovery, learning how to trust in himself and others, believe in magic and that anything is possible as he once did as a child. With a little help from Joe and his 'specials'.
A wonderful heart warming tale that is a pleasure to read.
BAM the enigma
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fiction
2018 Reading Challenge: fruit or vegetable in the title

I’m a huge Harris fan, but somehow this is the first of her novels I’ve read with a main male protagonist. I don’t typically gravitate to these types of books.

RTC but I loved this as much as any of her other books. She’s a beautiful storyteller
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Ivana Books Are Magic
Aug 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Joe is the reason why I'm giving this book four starts and why I loved it despite the somewhat predictable plot and undeveloped characters. The magic realism of this book was wonderful- the present day events and plot- not so much. I didn't find the plot credible at all. Everything works out way too conveniently for Jay, the protagonist of this book. The only thing that made Jay relatable and real was his relationship with Joe- and his struggles at the writer. There was no chemistry in the love ...more
I loved this story, or maybe I should say, I was in love with this story, I was in love with Joe and his eccentric ways. I loved the gardening, the wine making, the magic. I was in love with the bond of love between old man Joe and young man Jay. This is a book about the young man growing into maturity, into a man who can love a woman and a child and protect what he values. Growing into a man who can accept the weaknesses and mistakes of others, accept those same things in himself, and figure o ...more
Blackberry Wine (1999) & Five Quarters of the Orange (2001) by Joanne Harris
Finished Reading: August 2015
Rating: 2/5 & 3/5

I read Harris' Five Quarters of the Orange & Blackberry Wine back to back, so I shall be reviewing them together. They are very similar, actually; a little too much. Both feature lead female protagonists that have strong, proud, independent, walled-away personalities, unwilling to accept, let alone ask, others for any sort of assistance. In both, they are not the lead char
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing evokes memories like scents and Joanne Harris is a 'master' of descriptive prose that will bring memories flooding back.The senses are further brought into play with the sounds of the 70s nailed and remembered. The best times of my life childhood memories were exactly depicted in this wonderful story narrated by a bottle of 'fleurie' wine and the 6 'specials' which are filled with magic. Lansquenet the little french village of Chocolat fame is the setting for this book too along with som ...more
Chris Eastvedt
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, fantasy
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
Ellen Black
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is set in the same village as the author's most famous work Chocolat but it didn't have any of the charm for me. There's only a few characters in this book, but I didn't like any of them. The story didn't feel like it was going anywhere either. Not for me, but I still love the author and will read more from her. ...more
Sonia Gomes
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just another story, what is remarkable however, is the start of the story; it truly is innovative and simply amazing.
The wine bottles have these marvellous conversations with each other, they laugh, they giggle, they are oh so snooty, the disdain they have for some lesser wines would make you cringe.
Throughout the novel you have these quirky passages that place the otherwise banal story on a simply different level.
An enjoyable book that dabbles in magical realism and alternates between two periods of time in the main character's life, with the past affecting his present reality. ...more
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
It had to happen, my bookish love affair with Joanne Harris came to a grinding halt with this book, despite it being set in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes where 'Chocolat' was set. Any magical realism written by anyone other than Haruki Murakami I struggle to appreciate, and this split narrative (the other narrative is set 20 years earlier in Yorkshire) read, from the point of view of a bottle of Blackberry wine was lost on me. Interestingly I later found out that the American versions have a convention ...more
May 04, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
As usual, I enjoyed the author's blend of everyday people and everyday magic. Whether Joe's presence in France is real, ghostly or something else, it largely doesn't matter. His presence helps Jay to bring some order to his life and reconcile the events of his childhood. As with all Harris' books, the love of nature and the natural world shines through, and people who are kind get the best deal from the storyline. A lovely story, and nice to return, even if somewhat in passing, to the world of ' ...more
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished this and I’m feeling warm and smiley.
Might sound odd, but this book , and most other books by Joanne Harris, make you feel that way.
A little magic for adults, but oh so believable and well told.
During these dark, weird times we live in right now, this was the perfect book for me. Transported to Yorkshire childhood long summers, and a dusty old farm in France, with its grounds and gardens. Likeable characters, decent story line. Sad to finish it really, would have liked to st
When I compare this offering from Joanne Harris to her other books, it is just a meh response. I was disappointed.

It flipped back and forth between 1975 and 1999 too rapidly. I couldn't really get into either period. The ending was abrupt, like the author herself was tired of the whole thing.

I did like some of the characters - Joe & Rosa. It was nice to be in the company of Josephine and Roux again. And there was lots of wine and food to be enjoyed.

Another story with special elements by this author.
It's been a while since I've read one of her books...I can't say if it's this book in particular or if too long has gone since I was enamored by the author's writing and/or voice but I just didn't seem to connect as well with this one.

I liked it how it ended but between the lack of connection with the characters and the continuous jumping from one time to the other (action takes place in two moments, the main character's childhood summers and t
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a charming fairy tale for grown-ups! It comes complete with elements of fantasies... a house in the French countryside...potions and healers with the power to everlasting even if often is not entirely convincing. There were only a couple of things that were slightly annoying but not overwhelming. The narrator was a bottle of don't have to go back and reread was indeed a bottle of blackberry wine...and the end of the book is a little unbelievable. The re ...more
Mar 14, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2022
3.5 stars. This is a funny little book with bit of a hotch potch of storylines running through it. I enjoyed the writing but wasn’t completely taken with the story. It was a little something out of the norm though.
Oct 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This is a beautiful book, beautiful being the word here instead of good, though it is good as well.
It does for gardening and wine what Chocolat does for chocolate, it's even partly set in the same town, with some familiar names making appearances.
It has its usual themes you will find in most Harris books: France, art, mothers and daughters, wine, cheese, fruit, plants, scents, tastes, atmospheric overloads, more descriptions than events, more impressions than actions, a very strong sense of pla
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Joanne Harris paints a picture of intense summers of childhood alternating with farming life in a small French village, interwoven with threads of magic. Unfortunately the regret and ennui of the main character permeate the majority of the book, which made my experience as a reader ho hum.

It all came together with a satisfying ending. However, on reflection, the one-sided negative portrayal of several women characters in the book leaves a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Nino Meladze
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book ! So many unpredictable spins in the story that keep you interested to fin out more and more. But mostly, I liked the sense of magic that was in the book ; that essential sense that gives us hope and courage to do new things.
I don`t get the alleged magic of this book. Boring... So I`m out, having read about 130 pages. ...more
Jul 19, 2022 rated it liked it
Hmmm... I finished this book, though I may have forced myself a bit. It tells the story of Jay and Joe (whose names I often confused). Jay is a 12? year old boy when he starts spending summers in former mining town, Pog Hill. There, he meets a somewhat eccentric man in his 60s or older, I'd say, who likes to garden and takes Jay under his wing. The author alternates between this Pog Hill (England) time and years later when Jay decides to move to a rural farming community in France. He is trying ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
What a wonderful read this is. Thoroughly enjoyed both the plot and the narration of 'Blackberry Wine'. A punch of intoxicating senses which vapouriser's the encantation of the past at every page turn, from page one to the last page. One can almost taste the wine bubbling and working it's magic on the reader too. Super.
'I've had me fill now and bah gum.It tasted ta' right. Hope thee enjoy thy'sen with'dabook, twa's a bloody good read!'.
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Read by Theme: Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris 1 19 Jan 05, 2013 08:25PM  

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Joanne Harris is also known as Joanne M. Harris

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 DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is curr

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