From the description of the book I would imagine something like Joanne Harris (Chocolat, Five Quarters of the Orange), only not as French. Therefore it sounds pretty interesting, but one should never judge a book by its blurb
Also, while I'm not a huge fan of J.K. Rowling on a personal level, I have to say that I thought the Harry Potter books were some good solid classics. They got a lot of people reading, for one thing. I felt that the story started out as a lovely sort of Enid Blyton for teenagers, but cooler and with magic.
And then they grew, and Harry went through moody teenagerhood, and the ending was pretty satisfying, so really, what else could one want in a book?
I read the books as they came out and I reread them about once a year from start to finish, and for all the finicky little criticisms I might have, it's a pretty classic saviour story that speaks for friendship and trust and against hatred and disunity. I'm not going to take too much moral guidance from it, but it leaves me feeling good.