- Author Joanne Harris
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 of what makes him tick. It also makes his growth as a person that much more rewarding, for the reader as well.
I love that the village he has gone to is the same one that featured in Chocolat, with some of the same supporting characters and locations. Vianne Rocher has long gone, though. Oh, and Clopette is the best name ever. Okay, it’s for a goat, but still.
What I have yet to mention is that the story is told from the perspective of a bottle of wine, which sounds crazy. As the story progresses, you forget who is telling the tale, though, and it just becomes another third person novel. Harris excels, as she always does, with her descriptions. I could feel the heat of summer and taste the scent of berries on the air. I preferred Chocolat, but this is a great sort of sequel.