Jay Mackintosh is a 37-year-old has-been writer from London. Fourteen years have passed since his first novel, Jackapple Joe, won the Prix Goncourt. His only happiness comes from dreaming about the golden summers of his boyhood that he spent in the company of an eccentric vintner who was the inspiration of Jay's debut novel, but who one day mysteriously vanished. Under the strange effects of a bottle of Joe's '75 Special, Jay decides to purchase a derelict yet promising château in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. There, a ghost from his past waits to confront him, and his new neighbour, the reclusive Marise - haunted, lovely and dangerous - hides a terrible secret behind her closed shutters. Between them, there seems to be a mysterious chemistry. Or could it be magic?
Joanne Harris's previous novel, Chocolat, was both a dazzling literary success and a commercial triumph. Chocolat, the major motion picture directed by Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules), was released in December 2000, starring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Dame Judy Dench, Alfred Molina, and Lena Olin.
READ AN EXCERPT
Wine talks; ask anyone. The oracle at the street corner; the uninvited guest at the wedding feast; the holy fool. It ventriloquizes. It has a million voices. It unleashes the tongue, teasing out secrets you never meant to tell, secrets you never even knew. It shouts, rants, whispers. It speaks of...
1. To what extent is this a "coming of age" novel?
2. What role does wine play in this story? Is there an important difference to be noted between the "real" wine and Joe's Specials?
3. What do you understand by the phrase "everyday magic"? What do you think the author...