Blackberry Wine is going to appeal to all sorts of people: gardeners; owners of second homes in France; cooks and (in particular) people who brew their own beer; gourmets and the greedy; astrologers; aromatherapists; hypnotherapists; counsellors – all those innocent, artless souls who can’t quite cope with today’s demanding and rational world. If you are one of these sorts of people, this will be your sort of book.
The hero is Jay Mackintosh, author of one bestseller but trapped by writer’s block ever since. Inspired by an old man and an old bottle of wine, he buys a chateau in the South of France and escapes from his modish media girlfriend in search of a new landscape and new love. Some 400 pages later he has found both.
The novel has much in common with Chocolat, last year’s runaway bestseller by the same author. For a start, it has a similar jacket: the same collage of nostalgic objects; another sepia photograph on the back, this time below a garland of rave reviews of its predecessor. Forgivably, the publishers