The Winemaker's Wife

The Winemaker's Wife

Book - 2019
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"At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah. But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe—least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help. Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents—and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about—and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save. In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job—and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau."
Publisher: New York : Gallery Books, 2019.
Edition: Gallery Books Canadian export edition.
ISBN: 9781982112295
Characteristics: 389 pages ;,23 cm


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Feb 21, 2021

The reviews for this were not great, but I really liked it. Yes the characters all made poor choices but people do! The themes of guilt, redemption and forgiveness were very fascinating- I liked the way it all came together even if it wasn’t ever terribly surprising.

Jan 10, 2021

I enjoyed reading this book with its twists and turns. During the war portion of the story it was based on two couples. I found their characters to be a little naive and childish but it was a different time and they were quite young and after all it is fiction. Kristin Harmel is an author I do like.

Jan 08, 2021

DIsappointing book -- reasonable story, but one-dimensional characters that simply aren't interesting and are occasionally annoying. I quit after 200 pages, not interested enough to read any more.

Dec 28, 2020

What one might think is predictable evolves with very surprising twists.

Nov 20, 2020

This is definitely not light bedtime reading - in fact it disturbed my sleep on more than one night. It's an intense difficult book to finish. Unfortunately the 4 main characters spend too much time in marital infidelity, lies & deceit to be likable - even if they are part of the underground war resistance. The dialogue between them is also rather simplistic.

It was interesting to "allegedly" learn about France, 2nd World War & the champagne industry - although who knows what is real or fiction in this book? The writer's use of flashing back & forth between 2019 & the 1940s was an interesting literary technique - although at times difficult to keep track of who is who, when & where.

Oct 02, 2020

One of the worst books I've ever read. Something is wrong when all the main characters are so unlikeable and you are happy as they meet their end. It felt like this had been written by a high schooler pumping out their first romance novel. Even the modern day character it was hard to feel any sympathy or want to like her. Don't bother if you like a book with any depth.

Sep 24, 2020

I have read so many WW2 books and I always think "here we go again" but this book kept me gripped from beginning until end. It's not a happy book...more Nazis killing people. I could totally relate to the female characters and what they were feeling, doing, and enduring. I learned a little bit about champagne, wineries, and France as well. Great read!

Aug 24, 2020

Don't waste your time. Characters shallow and un-believable. I was so disappointed that I didn't even finish the book.

Jul 10, 2020

I actually really enjoyed this read and had it done in a day. I will say I found it predictable and had predicted the "twists" very early on. It may just be a little too of a happy ending for me however, which is fine I suppose.

Jun 02, 2020

The history was of interest. I found the female characters lacking in my ability to relate to.

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