Synopses & Reviews
As a boy, writer Jay Mackintosh spent three golden summers in the ramshackle home of Joseph Jackapple Joe Cox. Jay found solace in old Joe s simple wisdom and folk charms, in his stories of far travel and wild adventure, and in his astonishing ability to make anything grow lush and luxurious. And then there were Joe s Specials, his homebrewed wines, each bottle containing the sparkle of something truly magical. The magic was lost, though, when Joe disappeared without warning one fall. Years later, Jay s life is stalled with regret and ennui. His novel Jackapple Joe was his artistic zenith, but it had been published ten years earlier and he has not been able to write a serious work since. When an unsolicited real estate brochure arrives in the afternoon mail, he impulsively abandons every urban thing he knows. Sight unseen, he purchases a farmhouse in the remote french village of Lansquenet, in an attempt to recapture the magic that vanished twenty years before. Jay packs up his belongings and heads to that small village where, impossible as it seems, he believes Jackapple Joe is waiting for him. There, he finds a strange yet strangely familiar place -- and in the dark, guarded secrets of a reclusive woman and her young child, Jay Mackintosh begins to find himself again.
"A charming fairy tale for grown-ups." Kirkus Reviews
As a boy, writer Jay Mackintosh spent three golden summers in the ramshackle home of "Jackapple Joe" Cox. A lonely child, he found solace in Old Joe's simple wisdom and folk charms. The magic was lost, however, when Joe disappeared without warning one fall.
Years later, Jay's life is stalled with regret and ennui. His bestselling novel, Jackapple Joe, was published ten years earlier and he has written nothing since. Impulsively, he decides to leave his urban life in London and, sight unseen, purchases a farmhouse in the remote French village of Lansquenet. There, in that strange and yet strangely familiar place, Jay hopes to re-create the magic of those golden childhood summers. And while the spirit of Joe is calling to him, it is actually a similarly haunted, reclusive woman who will ultimately help Jay find himself again.
About the Author
Joanne Harris is the author of seven previous novels—Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Sleep, Pale Sister, and Gentlemen & Players; a short story collection, Jigs & Reels; and two cookbook/memoirs, My French Kitchen and The French Market. Half French and half British, she lives in England.