Blackberry Wine

by Joanne Harris, Derek Jacobi | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1840324996 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Schneefee of Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on 7/24/2007
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21 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Tuesday, July 24, 2007
And again I brought my own London souvenirs from Waterstone's...

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Amazon.com
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 for her "layman's alchemy." And even the narrator is no human being but a faintly tannic Fleurie 1962: "A pert, garrulous wine, cheery and little brash, with a pungent taste of blackcurrant!"

There are, of course, some less vinous characters in the novel. Harris's protagonist, Jay Mackintosh, is a former literary star, now sadly stalled. He spends his time writing second-rate science fiction, leading a hollow media life, and drinking: "Not to forget, but to remember, to open up the past and find himself there again." Yet the nice, expensive wines don't do the trick. Instead, six "Specials"--a gift from his old friend Joe--function as Jay's magical elixir. Like Proust's lime-blossom tisane, they give him the gift of his memories but also unlock his future, which encourages him to flee the rut of his London life and buy a house in Lansquenet.

As Jay settles in, he contemplates his childhood friendship with Joe, whose idiosyncratic outlook was the inspiration for his only successful book. Meanwhile, he becomes involved in village life, encountering some familiar faces from Chocolat. Caro and Toinette, the snooty troublemakers, soon put in an appearance, and Josephine, the bar owner and battered wife of the earlier novel, becomes a real friend. But it's a new character, the enigmatic Marise, who becomes the focus of Jay's attention--and who helps to restore his literary joie de vivre. This feat of resurrection makes for a hugely enjoyable read. It also goes one step further in adding Lansquenet to the map of imaginary destinations, where daydreams can come true with intoxicating frequency. --Eithne Farry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 wine replaces chocolate as Harris's magic elixir, and the newcomer to the village of Lansquenet sur Tannes is Jay Mackintosh, a 37-year-old has-been writer from London. Fourteen years have passed since Jay's debut novel, Jackapple Joe, won the Prix Goncourt. Since then, he has been churning out B-novels under a pseudonym; he currently lives with his girlfriend, Kerry, an aggressively successful 25-year-old celebrity journalist. Flashbacks reveal that Jay's only recollections of happiness are the golden summers he spent as a youth with old Joseph "Jackapple Joe" Cox in the small English town of Kirby Monckton. Joe, a colorful character who made wines from fruits and berries, inspired Joe's successful first novel. But one day he disappeared. When Jay stumbles across an advertisement for an 18th-century "chateau" in wine-growing country, the spell of his misery is broken. After downing a bottle of Joe's '75 Special, which he has been hoarding for 24 years, Jay decides to buy the house sight unseen. Leaving Kerry in London, Jay moves to Lansquenet and starts a new rural life, beginning to write under his own name again. He is bewildered by his reclusive neighbor, Marise d'Api, who apparently coveted his derelict house and land, and is ostracized by the townspeople. Jay's quest to discover why everyone, including Marise's former mother-in-law, blames Marise for her husband's suicide keeps the plot moving at a steady clip. Despite some unbelievable twists and a slightly uneven paceAit begins slowly, but by the last quarter races aheadAthis is an entertaining narrative, equal parts whimsy and drama. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Journal Entry 2 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, July 27, 2007
This is going to be a bookring soon, travelling to
1. krab-te (Tegau, GER)
2. bluecat07 (Oberursel, GER)
3. Marianne013 (Ettlingen, GER)
4. belly-dancer (Braunschweig, GER)
5. solnechny (Selters, GER)
6. akkolady (Duisburg, GER)
7. pauline61 (Kroppach, GER)
8. boagat (Blankenrath, GER)
9. Sheepseeker (Bonn, GER)
10. morgenrot (Straubenhardt, GER)
11. westpohl (Leipzig, GER)
12. ink-heart (Braunschweig, GER)
13. Feodora (Braunschweig, GER)
14. Primel (Unterschleißheim, GER)
15. Lesenmachtfroh (Nürnberg, GER)
16. DieHenkerin (Hohenhameln, GER)
17. gate-indigo (Ostfildern, GER)
18. devourbooks (München, GER)
19. calisson> (Heidelberg, GER)

Journal Entry 3 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, August 10, 2007
I think, Blackberry Wine is a worthy successor to Chocolat, even though it was written before (see www.joannharris.com) I loved the narrator as well as the story, which is warm and echantig, even more than Chocolat was.

The story flips back and forth in time between the 70's and the present day, and I needed a while to get through what happened in the 70s (still I think I didn't get all of it, but I don't mind as I surely will listen to it several times more).
Unhappy and angry, Jay stayed in Kirby Monckton with stiff grandparents in the wake of his parents' divorce. He met Jackapple Joe, who lived in Pog Hill Lane (not "Pork Hill", as I always had thought ;-)) by the railway, an old canal and a dump. Joe was a gardener who made magic with fruit and herbs. He made wine from jackapple potatoes, seeded from South America. His other Specials included raspberry, elderflower, blackberry, rosehip and damson wines, which bottled a 'hive of secrets'. Joe shared his dream of a 'Bordo chatto' with his young friend, sowing the seeds of Jay's relocation to France. When opening a bottle of Blackberry Wine, memories of that time overcome Jay and make him purchases a Chateau in France on impulse, in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. In his new home Jay sees apparitions of his old friend, who speak to him as Joe used to do, with casual advice on gardening and on life.

Of course we have a gentle love-story, which develops between Jay and his new neighbour Marise, a mysterious young woman, isolated from the village and the target of vicious gossip. Jay slowly sifts truth from the tales that he hears and gets to know the villagers and, more slowly, Marise and her daughter Rosa.

Again, as in Chocolat, "every single person makes the difference" in Lansquenet, and Jay not only comes to terms with his own past and current life but also upgrades Marise's Situation.

I really appreciated this audiobook!





Update 23. August 2007
While surfing through the www, I found the recipe of a

BLACKBERRY WINE CAKE
submitted by Iris
"An easy cake to make. Cake mix is combined with blackberry wine and blackberry flavored gelatin, then baked in a Bundt pan."

Original recipe yield:
1 - 10 inch Bundt pan
PREP TIME 10 Min
COOK TIME 40 Min
READY IN 55 Min

INGREDIENTS

* 511 g white cake mix
* 1 (3 ounce) package blackberry flavored gelatin
* 4 eggs
* 120 ml vegetable oil
* 235 ml blackberry wine
*
* 190 g confectioners' sugar
* 120 ml blackberry wine

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and gelatin mix. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, oil and blackberry wine. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Pour 1/2 of blackberry wine glaze over top of cake while still warm. Let set for 10 minutes then remove cake from pan. Allow cake to cool fully before pouring the remaining glaze on top.

4. To make the Glaze: In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar and 1/2 cup blackberry wine.

(found at allrecipes.com, quite a nice page)

Journal Entry 4 by krab-te on Saturday, August 11, 2007
Gut angekommen
11.9.
Ich hatte mich mit dem Hören diesmal schwer getan. 21.9.
Geht morgen per Post zu bluecat07.
(Edit sagt so ist es besser.)

Journal Entry 5 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, September 24, 2007
Lost in post schon nach der ersten Station :-(

Journal Entry 6 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Monday, September 24, 2007
Heute gut angekommen. Danke fürs Schicken und Brennen, krab-te!

Journal Entry 7 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Und schon sind die Hörbücher wieder auf dem Weg zu Marianne...

Ich habe sie erstmal auf meinen Rechner gezogen und werde hier meinen Kommentar abgeben, wenn ich dieses gehört habe.

Vielen Dank für den Ring, Schneefee! Ich höre immer gerne etwas Englisches.

Journal Entry 8 by Marianne013 from Bühl (Baden), Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, September 29, 2007
Found the audiobook in my mailbox yesterday. Thanks for providing and sending it.

Journal Entry 9 by Marianne013 from Bühl (Baden), Baden-Württemberg Germany on Friday, November 02, 2007
The audio book is on its way to belly-dancer. Have fun.

Journal Entry 10 by belly-dancer from Edemissen, Niedersachsen Germany on Saturday, November 03, 2007
Arrived safely today!

Journal Entry 11 by solnechny on Sunday, December 30, 2007
I did not exect to get Blackberry Wine together with Chocolat, so this was a very nice surprise. I am looking forward to listening to this audiobook.

Journal Entry 12 by akkolady from Duisburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, January 28, 2008
Got it along with Chocolat, which I wanted to get in the first place.
Unfortunately at the moment I'm not in the mood to listen to it at the moment, but I'll do so later.

Journal Entry 13 by pauline61 from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, February 08, 2008
Got it along with Chocolat (5313010) and Five Quarters of the Orange (5313049)Unfortunately at the moment I'm not in the mood to listen to it at the moment, but I'll do so later.

I will send it to the next and give my comment later.

Journal Entry 14 by boagat from Briedel, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Friday, February 15, 2008
Arrived safely. Thank you.

Journal Entry 15 by Sheepseeker from Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, April 14, 2008
Ebenfalls letzte Woche - während meines Urlaubs - angekommen. Vielen Dank fürs Schicken!

---

Zwischenmeldung 30.4.: Ich höre!

Journal Entry 16 by Sheepseeker from Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, May 08, 2008
Just what I expected from Miss Harris - a lovely story with a little intrigue lurking round the corner.
As I already posted in the journal entries for 'Chocolat' and 'Oranges...', I've read those two a little while ago and liked both.
It seems to me 'Blackberry Wine' is not as deep as 'Chocolat', but then the characters are again very well built and likable.
As always I found it hard to listen to the pronounciation of French words by the English speaker (I had to look up some names of places ;-), but the overall impression was good.
In the beginning I got the 70s and 90s mixed up, because I listened to the CD while driving to/from work.

Thanks for sharing the CDs with us, Schneefee! I already pmed morgenrot for an address...

Journal Entry 17 by morgenrot from Straubenhardt, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, May 17, 2008
Tja-wir waren eine gute Woche ohne Postzustellung...nur wegen "VitaminB" kam gestern die gesammelte Papierflut samt Sicherungskopie hier an! Ich werde frühestens Ende nächster Woche zum Hören kommen-aber dann mit Genuss! Danke!

Journal Entry 18 by westpohl from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Friday, June 06, 2008
CD ist angekommmen und wird demnächst beim Bügeln angehört.

Journal Entry 19 by ink-heart at Braunschweig, Niedersachsen Germany on Friday, July 18, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (7/18/2008 UTC) at Braunschweig, Niedersachsen Germany

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For once, I am sending the audiobook on without a comment. - I am going on a holiday tomorrow and just didn't want to stall the ring any longer. I'll edit my first journal entry soon after I'm back. The Harris-Box is sent to Feodora tomorrow morning. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 20 by Feodora from Braunschweig, Niedersachsen Germany on Sunday, July 27, 2008
Arrived last week. Will take it to Bonn with me a might listen

Journal Entry 21 by Feodora from Braunschweig, Niedersachsen Germany on Friday, August 15, 2008
I tried to listen to it during the week, but could not find a start with it, maybe because I listen to it only in steps of 20 min or so. I will have a try with the other stories who came with this next weeks trip.

Journal Entry 22 by Feodora from Braunschweig, Niedersachsen Germany on Friday, September 05, 2008
As I could not get into the story it might travel to its next station

Journal Entry 23 by Primel from Unterschleißheim, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Die CD ist gut angekommen!

Journal Entry 24 by Primel from Unterschleißheim, Bayern Germany on Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Ich habe festgestellt, mein Englisch ist sehr dürftig. Die CD reist demnächst weiter!

Journal Entry 25 by wingLesenmachtfrohwing from Nürnberg, Bayern Germany on Monday, October 13, 2008
Arrived today as part of a box which is in fact a disc.
I'm looking forward to it. What a pity that there are so few comments so far.

Journal Entry 26 by wingLesenmachtfrohwing from Nürnberg, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Nice story. It took some while to get into it. Mostly I enjoyed Joe's part with the Yorkshire accent.

Released 10 yrs ago (10/21/2008 UTC) at -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Bayern Germany

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Geht an Henkerin weiter. Enjoy! My be with a glass of wine?

Journal Entry 28 by DieHenkerin from Hohenhameln, Niedersachsen Germany on Thursday, October 23, 2008
Heute wohlbehalten bei mir angekommen. :o)
Vielen lieben Dank für den Ring und fürs Schicken!

Journal Entry 29 by DieHenkerin from Hohenhameln, Niedersachsen Germany on Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ich bin einfach nicht der Typ für diese Art Geschichten...
Sobald die nächste Adresse da ist, reist die Joanne Harris-Box weiter.

Released 10 yrs ago (11/19/2008 UTC) at -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Niedersachsen Germany

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...on its way...

Journal Entry 31 by gate-indigo from Ostfildern, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Friday, November 28, 2008
got it

Journal Entry 32 by devourbooks from Bergen auf Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany on Wednesday, March 11, 2009
cd kam heute in münchen an.

Released 9 yrs ago (10/24/2009 UTC) at Angelbachtal OBCZ -Eiscafé San Marco in Angelbachtal, Baden-Württemberg Germany

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geht mit zum Treffen

Journal Entry 34 by sonnenscheinHD from Eppelheim, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, November 14, 2009
Mit herzlichem Dank gestern in den tiefen einer Tüte gefunden, werde bald reinhören, danke!

Released 9 yrs ago (11/18/2009 UTC) at -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Baden-Württemberg Germany

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Reisen wieder nach Hause zu Schneefee, danke fürs teilen!

Journal Entry 36 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, December 03, 2009
back home and RES for Vekiki's friend in London

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