Book: The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
Kara Vallari Book Review:
I read this book while Kevin and I were in Oregon wine country for our anniversary so it was quite topical. That aside, this wasn’t my favorite by a long shot. For starters, I found almost all of the characters frustrating or annoying in some regard which made the book less enjoyable. There is a bit of mystery woven in between Inès and Liv but it’s pretty predictable since the cast of characters is limited.
Overall, I most enjoyed hearing the perspective from French wine country during WWII. Even though this book is fiction and the characters are made up, there was still quite a few real facts and events depicted throughout. As someone who loves historical fiction, specifically the WWII era, I sometimes forget the part France played in the war so this was a nice change.
Initially, I selected this book because I wanted something light and easy after reading The Woman in the Window [which had me pretty down] but this book is pretty depressing and frustrating to read too, just in a different way. I’d say if you’re a fan of historical fiction, it’s worth a read but if not, you can probably skip this one.
Book Synopsis (from Amazon):
Champagne, 1940: Inès has just married Michel, the owner of storied champagne house Maison Chauveau, when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts, Michel turns his back on his marriage to begin hiding munitions for the Résistance. Inès fears they’ll be exposed, but for Céline, the French-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s chef de cave, the risk is even greater—rumors abound of Jews being shipped east to an unspeakable fate.
When Céline recklessly follows her heart in one desperate bid for happiness, and Inès makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator, they risk the lives of those they love—and the vineyard that ties them together.
New York, 2019: Recently divorced, Liv Kent is at rock bottom when her feisty, eccentric French grandmother shows up unannounced, insisting on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and a tragic, decades-old story to share. When past and present finally collide, Liv finds herself on a road to salvation that leads right to the caves of the Maison Chauveau.