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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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Five Quarters of the Orange tells a multi-generational story with lies, secrets, family database, but with redemption, love, healing, and perseverance shining throughout. Throughout the novel you have these quirky passages that place the otherwise banal story on a simply different level. 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.

Although the story has many fantastical elements the only thing that struck a somewhat odd note for me was Marise's past. Another issue between them is that Marise will not let her see her granddaughter, Rosa, as she would like nothing better than to take full custody of her. 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. 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.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.

Most of the novel revolves around his re-finding his writing muse, getting the farm into some kind of shape, and getting to know the neighbours. It's a small grain of intrigue surrounded by a massive bowl of poetic vegetables, for better of worse. In Norse myth the whole world ended with Ragnarók, the last battle, at which the gods were defeated and after which eternal winter descended. Wine is an important motif in the book - so much so that its narrator (in places) is, rather bizarrely, a bottle of wine. When I went to university he would always give me half a dozen bottles of his home-made wine at the beginning of the year, and my grandmother would send me fruit cake or jars of jam during the term.In addition, the principal setting of Blackberry Wine is the same village which I used in Chocolat, and it seemed natural to have some of the same characters. It is about the value of the past to the creation of the future; respect and love for the land and diversity of species. It's only a matter of not losing hope completely and let others surprise you, with one foot in the Earth and the other one suspended in the air, letting the wind blow where it has to. Home brewed wine made by Joe takes unusual importance in the present time of the story, because it's only when Jay drinks it that he finds the courage to change what makes him unhappy. Relatives to Marise (similar to the neighbors in Five Quarters of an Orange) were cold and unwilling to be understanding, believing only what they want to believe.

Blackberry Wine is written as a piece of commercial fiction, but has definite elements of fantasy that feel out of place. and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television. 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.

The copious descriptions were a bit much and repetitive: how many times did I have to hear about the canal, or that something was yeasty- an odd word to be given such prominence? Now Harris Magic is never really magic (except the Norse books and the fairy tales) but it's the kind of magic you can choose to believe is real but maybe it's also just the magic you find in the small things in life. Under the influence of this magical home-brew, Jay finds himself behaving in a more and more erratic way. Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories.

But the accidental discovery of six bottles of home-brewed wine, a legacy from an old and vanished friend, seems to hold the key to a new beginning, a means of escape, and a final reconciliation. permainos patinka ne visiems, o kiti gyventojai labiau norėtų išorinių permainų, kurios atneštų finansinę naudą. All in all, a pleasant book, and ideal to read when there's a lot going on, since it was quite possible to read a couple of short chapters at night, and not feel the need to keep going until the early hours.

Pagrindinis veikėjas nekelia simpatijų (ne taip kaip jo draugas senukas), o nuorodos į „Šokoladą“ tokios pritemptos, labiau iš reikalo, tarsi reikėtų atiduoti duoklę agentams ir skaitytojams, o ne nes iš tiesų tinka ir pačiai autorei patinka.

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