I liked this book, but it took me a while to get into. It's one my dad got my mum because she's obsessive about 'Blackberry Wine' and didn't mind 'Chocolat' by the same author.
I think that the cover design is distinctive, and I'm fairly sure that it's the only one which was done for this book, so you'd recognise it anywhere. Although they're about different people you can tell that the same author wrote this book and the two mentioned above from a simple glane at the covers, even without the name, because they are of a similar style which I think is reasonably unique to her.
Another similarity that I've found between the three books, this is the only one I've read so far however I'm judging from my mother's descriptions, is that they're all set in France during a similar period, and they all explore sins and temptations. There is a common theme of food and of looking at the 'older, pagan gods' in favour of the Christian church, as all her heroines seem to outwardly respect the church, but secretly rebel against it.
I liked also the fact that there was a twist in the plot which I think someone more astute than me may have picked up on, and which I half guessed, but which really wasn't very obvious. The characters were amusing and although the plot seemed tenuous it had enough twists, turns and excitement to make you want to keep reading.
I didn't like the fact that it was written in three languages. Mostly english, dotted with some french words and quotes in latin. The quotes weren't too bad as i can't read that at all and so assumed each time that it was probably going to be translated for me and was definately from the bible. It was the french words, they were ones which everyone knows; soeur - sister, mere - mother, mer - sea. But then the names were often french versions of names we commonly use in England. As a result I found myself switching between the two languages not quite sure which my head should be reading in ... It couldn't make it's mind up.
Overall I liked the book, even though there were parts which irritated me. It was amusing and didn't require too much effort or concentration, I think I may even have learnt one or two things from it.