The Winemaker's Wife
The author of the engrossing international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie returns with a moving story set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France during the darkest days of World War II, perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.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, half-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 champagne house that ties them together.New York, 2019: Liv Kent has just lost everything when her 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.

The Winemaker's Wife Details

TitleThe Winemaker's Wife
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 13th, 2019
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781982112295
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

The Winemaker's Wife Review

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    France, wine, WWII, present day, and love - all of this wrapped into one amazing, difficult-to-put-down read.We meet Inez, Celine, Michel, Thor, Liv, and Liv's French grandmother, Edith, as the story moves back and forth in time.We find out about the lives of the winemakers during the war and a secret that grandmother has kept for many years as well as a connection that the vineyards, a restaurant, and the characters have to both time periods and to their lives.Grandmother Edith was my favorite France, wine, WWII, present day, and love - all of this wrapped into one amazing, difficult-to-put-down read.We meet Inez, Celine, Michel, Thor, Liv, and Liv's French grandmother, Edith, as the story moves back and forth in time.We find out about the lives of the winemakers during the war and a secret that grandmother has kept for many years as well as a connection that the vineyards, a restaurant, and the characters have to both time periods and to their lives.Grandmother Edith was my favorite character…mysterious and stubborn all rolled into one.Liv was likable as well.Inez, Celine, Michel, and Thor were interesting, and their wine tunnels were fascinating.We learn more of the war, the resistance, the French people involved in the resistance, and how the danger of making one simple mistake could alter the safety of many people. THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE is another marvelous, intriguing read about the resiliency and determination of the French people and the entire European population.Those of us who were not living during this time, do not have any idea of the horrors and hardships endured by the European people.Ms. Harmel weaved a beautiful tale filled with authentic characters and a story line that kept me turning the pages to learn more as well as cry with the characters.Absolutely LOVED this book. Do not miss reading this book. 5/5This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Shuster Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Kristin Harmel presents a well researched and detailed story set in wartime Reims France( 1938-1943) and the other in contemporary France( 2019). I gravitated to this story because I have visited Reims and its gorgeous cathedral Notre-Dame-de- Reims( the site in which many French monarchs were crowned) and was intrigued at the angle of the champagne industry and it's resistance during Germ Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Shuster Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Kristin Harmel presents a well researched and detailed story set in wartime Reims France( 1938-1943) and the other in contemporary France( 2019). I gravitated to this story because I have visited Reims and its gorgeous cathedral Notre-Dame-de- Reims( the site in which many French monarchs were crowned) and was intrigued at the angle of the champagne industry and it's resistance during German occupation. Also, I did enjoy the author's 2018 book The Room on Rue Amelie But what often had me considering DNFing or giving this a lower rating on Goodreads was the descent into historical romance. Michel, Ines, Cecile, and Theo were all so weak and I honestly hated all of them. It was so incredibly difficult to relate to characters that just kept cheating on each other( Ines, Cecile, Michel) or stuck their heads in the sand( Theo). I totally get it that ordinary people do exist and they cannot all be superheros, but this book hurt my heart. In the contemporary storyline, American Liv and her grandmother, Edith arrive in Reims where Liv is told that this trip is significant. Of course, a romance is thrown into the mix and the big "reveal" was not a surprise at all. Disappointing.Goodreads Review 16/06/19Publication Date 09/07/19
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Informative, beautiful, and tragic!The Winemaker’s Wife is a stirring, immersive story set in France during the early 1940s, as well present day, that is told primarily from three different perspectives; Inès Chauveau, a young wife who after feeling neglected and misunderstood naively makes choices that have far-reaching, life-changing consequences; Céline Laurent, the half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s winemaker who lives in constant fear of the advancing Germans except when deep within the vineyar Informative, beautiful, and tragic!The Winemaker’s Wife is a stirring, immersive story set in France during the early 1940s, as well present day, that is told primarily from three different perspectives; Inès Chauveau, a young wife who after feeling neglected and misunderstood naively makes choices that have far-reaching, life-changing consequences; Céline Laurent, the half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s winemaker who lives in constant fear of the advancing Germans except when deep within the vineyard caves where she finds solace, hope, contentment, and love; and Liv Kent, a recently divorced American who journeys to France at the request of her grandmother only to uncover a family history that’s littered with secrets, betrayals, and sacrifices.The prose is preceptive, vivid, and sincere. The characters are courageous, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a heartrending tale that gives us a unique view into the struggles, sacrifices, horrors, and bravery of those who lived and survived in the Champagne region during this heinous time in history.The Winemaker’s Wife is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, deception, determination, perseverance, resistance efforts, intricacies of winemaking, and the importance of forgiveness. It’s pensive, moving, and thoroughly absorbing and a fantastic choice for historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere.Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3.5 stars rounded down to 3 starsThis is a dual timeline book mainly focusing on northern France during WWII. There are some contemporary chapters interwoven which helped propel the storyline. I’m giving the book 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 stars. This book’s genre is Historical Fiction. For me there were not enough historical details about the French Resistance in the Champagne region of France during the war to sink my teeth into. It often felt more like a Romance or Chic-Lit/Women’s Rating: 3.5 stars rounded down to 3 starsThis is a dual timeline book mainly focusing on northern France during WWII. There are some contemporary chapters interwoven which helped propel the storyline. I’m giving the book 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 stars. This book’s genre is Historical Fiction. For me there were not enough historical details about the French Resistance in the Champagne region of France during the war to sink my teeth into. It often felt more like a Romance or Chic-Lit/Women’s Fiction genre book. There was a lot going on with the three main protagonists in the WWII era. There is Michel Chauveau, and his recently wed wife, Ines. Also in the mix are Theo and Celine Laurent. Michel recently inherited Maison Chauveau upon the death of his father. He has worked hard to learn the wine, specifically the champagne, business. Maison Chauveau is unique. Michel’s grandfather dug an elaborate system of caves under the main house. The grapes are made into champagne in the caves. The resulting bottles are stored and tended in the caves to until they are ready for market. Much of the dramatic action of the book takes place in the caves.Theo is Michel’s chef du cave (cellar master). His half-Jewish wife, Celine, was raised in a winemaking family from Burgundy. She is a good resource for many facets of the wine making process. Ines is the odd person out in this mix. She has no wine making experience. She soon feels real and imagined slights from Michel and Celine. Her feeling of exclusion leads her to make some bad decision have catastrophic unintended consequences. However, she is not the only one with unclean hands. Then we have the modern story of Grandma Edith and Liv. While reading the modern chapters I was usually impatient to return to the WWII era to see what new scrapes this foursome was encountering. This was a brutal time of German occupation, French citizens collaborating with the Germans, and French Resistance networks. Those elements were touched upon in the story. Michel was working for the Resistance. I would have liked to read more about that work in the book. The story often dipped into Romance/Chic Lit levels of angst, especially in the modern storyline. I would recommend this book to wine making aficionados who want to learn more about the Champagne region during WWII. I would also recommend it to readers who usually enjoy Women’s Fiction and want to learn more about this region in France during WWII. The Author’s Notes at the end of the book also gave more resources for continued research about this era and region, and the backstory of how the book came about. I appreciated having that information.‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, Gallery, Pocket Books; and the author, Kristin Harmel for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    The synopsis provided for this story is a bit misleading. Less than 15% of the story deals with the French Resistance; and moreover, it goes into little to no details about what they did other than hiding the munitions as stated in the synopsis. The members are never named, the groups are unknown, and the effect of their cause is anonymous. The reader never sees the outcome of what came from their help with the resistance and there is no action regarding the resistance movement.The premise for t The synopsis provided for this story is a bit misleading. Less than 15% of the story deals with the French Resistance; and moreover, it goes into little to no details about what they did other than hiding the munitions as stated in the synopsis. The members are never named, the groups are unknown, and the effect of their cause is anonymous. The reader never sees the outcome of what came from their help with the resistance and there is no action regarding the resistance movement.The premise for this book was an interesting concept showing a different perspective of WWII German-occupied citizens: the winemakers. It was interesting that they were treated differently since the Nazi soldiers needed booze, and I would have liked more interaction between them.This novel relishes in marital problems, affairs, and wine. The chapters alternate between Liz, Ines, and Celine. The reader is quickly made aware of Liz’s divorce in 2019 which causes her to fly to Reims, France to stay with her 99-year-old spunky Grandma Edith. Meanwhile set in 1943 during German-occupied France, Ines and Celine both express their own marital problems. The first half of the book primarily focuses on Ines and Celine’s relationship problems with their spouses. Ines constantly feels left out and insignificant, and for the reader it frequently feels like she is whining and can become annoying to suffer through the pages of her moaning about no one caring about her. Overall, there was little depth to the main characters, so none of them really resonated with me. I didn’t like any of the characters set in the past, and I felt like it was hard to get to know them as a reader. On the other hand, I did like Grandma Edith and it was her relationship with Liv and the connection that was to be made between her and the past that caused me to keep reading. The ending was carefully crafted and enjoyable. This is a good light read for those interested in both romance and wine. (There are pages and pages beautifully describing how wine is made.) Thank you to Gallery Books, Kristin Harmel, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    3 champagne starsThis is a well-researched historical fiction tale set in the champagne region of France, mostly during WWII. I truly enjoyed learning more about the process of maintaining a vineyard, the process for making champagne, and a bit more about what the inhabitants of this region did as part of the French resistance.The three women in this book – Celine, Ines, and Liv -- mostly didn’t capture my sympathy until the end of the book. They didn’t feel fleshed out and I struggled to unders 3 champagne starsThis is a well-researched historical fiction tale set in the champagne region of France, mostly during WWII. I truly enjoyed learning more about the process of maintaining a vineyard, the process for making champagne, and a bit more about what the inhabitants of this region did as part of the French resistance.The three women in this book – Celine, Ines, and Liv -- mostly didn’t capture my sympathy until the end of the book. They didn’t feel fleshed out and I struggled to understand why they acted in certain ways. I just didn’t connect to them in the way I do with a book that I love. There are elements of intrigue, secrets, and deception all woven into this one.I really liked “The Room on Rue Amelie” by this author, so I will definitely read her next book, I wish I would have liked this one more.Thank you to NetGalley, Kristin Harmel, and Gallery/Pocket Books for a copy of the book to read.
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  • Shelby
    January 1, 1970
    In the Champagne region of France, newlyweds Michel and Ines owned a winery by the name of Maison Chauveau. During the 1940s when WWII breaks out, the Nazis invade their small town and take over the supply produced by their winery. Lucky for Ines, her life isn’t heavily affected by the war, but even still, her marriage is perishing before her eyes. And then Ines discovers that Michel is taking part in the French Resistance and she worries what his actions will cost them. Celine and her husband T In the Champagne region of France, newlyweds Michel and Ines owned a winery by the name of Maison Chauveau. During the 1940s when WWII breaks out, the Nazis invade their small town and take over the supply produced by their winery. Lucky for Ines, her life isn’t heavily affected by the war, but even still, her marriage is perishing before her eyes. And then Ines discovers that Michel is taking part in the French Resistance and she worries what his actions will cost them. Celine and her husband Theo live in a cottage on Maison Cheuveau’s property, as Theo is Michel’s righthand man. When Celine learns that the Germans are arresting and sending Jews to work camps, she starts to worry, as she is half Jewish. Celine’s fears nearly consume her, but her husband doesn’t have the empathy she is looking for. Instead, she finds sensitivity in Michel, and they strike up a relationship, even in the midst of war. In present day, Liz is recently divorced and doesn’t know what to do with her life now. She visits her 99-year old grandmother Edith in France—a chance to get to know her grandmother better while deciding where to go next. While in France, Edith starts to reveal stories of her past and Liv learns that Edith was more involved in WWII than she originally thought. She’s getting to discover her family’s history—but why did Edith wait so long to tell her story?The Winemaker’s Wife is Kristin Harmel’s latest WWII novel set in France. I was intrigued by this story because it shed light on a part of French history I wasn’t familiar with. I never thought about how the wineries were affected by the war. I feel like the author could’ve delved deeper into how the Nazi’s invaded these wineries. This story doesn’t focus on the gritty, heartbreaking details of WWII and is instead more surface-level, which can be far more palatable for those who have a hard time reading about concentration camps. My problem with a lot of this story is the characters. I found Ines and Celine to both be unlikable characters and they both were only slightly redeemable by the end. I liked Liv, but I wish we saw more of her life. 3/5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Books and Kristin Harmel for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
    January 1, 1970
    There. That ought to explain why I won't read yet another WWII book featuring the abysmal tropes of muddled romantic relationships between Nazis and their victims, with the obligatory Jewish female thrown in to raise the stakes.
  • Aisling
    January 1, 1970
    Grab a glass of champagne and kick back with this entertaining historical love story. I loved how this author clearly had done a ton of research on the region and the war before setting half the book in WWII Reims and nearby. I also appreciate the full dimensions she gave to her characters; each teemed with humanity. The complexities of their decisions set against an unforgiving background of German occupation made for not only a great read but the ramifications never stop coming. This book was Grab a glass of champagne and kick back with this entertaining historical love story. I loved how this author clearly had done a ton of research on the region and the war before setting half the book in WWII Reims and nearby. I also appreciate the full dimensions she gave to her characters; each teemed with humanity. The complexities of their decisions set against an unforgiving background of German occupation made for not only a great read but the ramifications never stop coming. This book was great right up to the last page. Perfect for those who believe that fate has a way, for those who love historical mysteries and those who just want a cracking good read.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Two women are at a crossroads in life. One woman in present day, and one in 1940 as the Nazis invade Champagne, France. These two stories of resilience and courage come together to create one beautiful book.The Winemakers Wife is a book that immerses you in the wine region of France along with the horrors of war. I learned so much about this region during this time period, as well as a plethora of facts about the different Champagne houses. The author did an extensive amount of research for this Two women are at a crossroads in life. One woman in present day, and one in 1940 as the Nazis invade Champagne, France. These two stories of resilience and courage come together to create one beautiful book.⁣⁣⁣⁣The Winemakers Wife is a book that immerses you in the wine region of France along with the horrors of war. I learned so much about this region during this time period, as well as a plethora of facts about the different Champagne houses. The author did an extensive amount of research for this book and it shows. I loved the character development, the twists and turns this story took, and the seamlessly woven together dual timelines. The Winemakers Wife is a memorable book that weaves a heartbreaking yet hopeful tale. This book is fascinating and a must read! Thank you @gallerybooks for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a fan of Kristin Harmel's writing for quite some time now. She has written a few novels about World War II and the Holocaust, but each one has its own special flair that sets it apart from the others in this genre. The Winemaker's Wife tells a story about two women during a very tumultuous time and the secrets that threaten their safety. This novel was thoughtful and well-written. I learned new things about winemaking. I liked seeing the perspectives of all three women and finding ou I have been a fan of Kristin Harmel's writing for quite some time now. She has written a few novels about World War II and the Holocaust, but each one has its own special flair that sets it apart from the others in this genre. The Winemaker's Wife tells a story about two women during a very tumultuous time and the secrets that threaten their safety. This novel was thoughtful and well-written. I learned new things about winemaking. I liked seeing the perspectives of all three women and finding out why they made the choices they did. Being an avid reader, some parts were easy for me to guess, but other parts were surprising. There were elements that threw off my guesses, as well. Through her vivid descriptions, Kristin brought Paris, Reims, and Champagne to life. I really liked Grandma Edith, as she was very sharp for her age. I would have liked a pronunciation guide or a footnote every time a new French name was introduced. That would have been helpful, as I don't speak French and probably butchered the way the names sounded in my head. The Winemaker's Wife is another winner from Kristin that you are guaranteed to devour. Movie casting suggestions:Ines: Courtney EatonCeline: Mathilde OllivierMichel: Jeremy IrvineLiv: Katherine WaterstonJulien: John Reardon
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  • Jenna Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. Okay. Minority opinion alert. This book currently has a very respectable 4.14 average on Goodreads, so if the synopsis sounds like something you'll love, by all means, don't let my review turn you off of it. But my honest reaction to this novel was mainly disappointment. To start with, the synopsis gave me an impre My thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. Okay. Minority opinion alert. This book currently has a very respectable 4.14 average on Goodreads, so if the synopsis sounds like something you'll love, by all means, don't let my review turn you off of it. But my honest reaction to this novel was mainly disappointment. To start with, the synopsis gave me an impression of a plot that was firmly rooted in the resistance movement in France. Unfortunately, this all felt very secondary in the novel, and the main thrust of the historical portion of the plot hinges around marital affairs and discord. In and of itself, this could have been a decent focus for a story (despite not being what I was expecting) had the characters involved been a bit more developed. All that being said, there were high stakes for this part of the book and good cause to be emotionally invested in the outcome. The modern portion of the plot, by contrast, felt tacked-on and lifeless. Liv, much like the characters in the earlier timeline, feel quite underdeveloped, and she was without the benefit of the tension in the HF portion to push the story along. Liv is recently divorced and sad about it. A very obvious romantic interest figure pops into the story when Liv's grandmother, Edith takes her to France, and their romance is delayed to a positively ridiculous degree by a misunderstanding and multiple characters' failure to communicate very basic facts. Harmel has quite a few novels under her belt, but this one unfortunately read like a debut, in my opinion. The characters were all very shallow, and were often unsympathetic when I believe the author did not intend for them to be. The plot sometimes strained the limits of incredulity, and the more interesting aspects of the story routinely took a back seat to things like wine making and affairs. The rating is comparable to her prior books, however, so I think it's safe to say that fans of her existing work will not be disappointed in this book as I was. All that being said, I was still prepared to rate this around three stars rather than two until I got to a particular scene that cast the entirety of the book in a bad light for me. I will try to be as vague as possible to avoid giving away huge plot points, but some spoilers are ahead.(view spoiler)[In a moment of distress, a character (I'll call her person A) confides in a person whom she knows to be a Nazi collaborator. The secrets she gives away lead to the arrest of several people, who then end up in a concentration camp. Years later, one of the characters who has managed to survive the camp (I'll call her person B) makes quite a point of saying that she doesn't blame the person who gave her up to the Nazis. Her reasoning is essentially that Person A was careless but not cruel. Again, I'd like to emphasize that Person A was well aware that her confidant was a Nazi collaborator. I'm all for victims finding forgiveness for those who have harmed them if it helps them find peace, but Person B is not a real person with autonomy; she is a character being fed lines by an author. Forgiveness can be healing, but there's something about the narrative that seems to frame this as the "correct" choice, and that didn't sit well with me. Perhaps I'm entirely misreading the author's intentions, but this was the impression I left the book with, and it was enough to turn me off of a book I already had a rather lukewarm experience reading.  (hide spoiler)]Again, many readers thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of Harmel's work, please do give it a chance. Unfortunately, this was my first impression of her work and I don't think I'll be reading another of her books. You can read all of my reviews on my blog, Jenna Bookish!Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • Toni Osborne
    January 1, 1970
    This is a complex story of love, betrayal and courage told with exceptional skill. Written in heart wrenching prose “The Winemaker’s Wife” goes back and forth between time and the present: Champagne, 1940 and 2019.1940The story gives us a different perspective of Germany occupied France. As it opens Ines has just married Michel, then owner of the champagne house Maison Chauveau when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts Michel joins the resistance. When rumours about Jews being deported… fear This is a complex story of love, betrayal and courage told with exceptional skill. Written in heart wrenching prose “The Winemaker’s Wife” goes back and forth between time and the present: Champagne, 1940 and 2019.1940The story gives us a different perspective of Germany occupied France. As it opens Ines has just married Michel, then owner of the champagne house Maison Chauveau when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts Michel joins the resistance. When rumours about Jews being deported… fear sets in… Celine, Michel’s chef de cave’s wife, is half Jewish….. They are afraid of being exposed…Ines and Celine are the main voices and tell their point of views in alternate chapters as the war moves on. Celine tends to follow her heart and Ines eventually makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator….There side is told with warmth and emotions…2019In New York Grandmother Edith shows up at Liv Kent’s home insisting on a trip to France, she has something in mind and wants to share her tragic story with her granddaughter. Edith and Liv are the driving voices when the story moves to the present. More thoughts:Actually we have two stories and at first I was wondering where the connection might be. The author keeps giving tidbits of information teasing till the denouement. The suspense is held throughout and very well-done. Although the plot moves very slowly and nothing melodramatic happens well into the novel I was nevertheless deeply engaged from the get-go. This tragic story inspired by real events tells how people make desperate choices in order to survive and is one that offers many twists which I did not see coming. War stories are my favourite, even if they are fictional there is always some truth to them. “The Winemaker’s Wife” is set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France and we have a small view of how it may have operated during this hard time…right or wrong I do not care, the description is vivid and the drama lively….Eventually the past and present merge and we are back to the caves of Maison Chauveau. Well-done.I received this ARC from the publisher Simon& Schuster via NetGalleys for my thoughts
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  • Jacinda Literature Babe
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster and author Ms. Kristin Harmel for this Advanced readers copy.The Winemaker's Wife, written by Kristin Harmel, is an engaging Historical Fiction novel inspired by real events. Those events took place in the Champagne Region of France during the dark days of The French Occupation by the Nazi's of World War II. 3 couples trying to survive the horrors their lives have now become, making choices based out of need, personal greed and desperation. Right or w Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster and author Ms. Kristin Harmel for this Advanced readers copy.The Winemaker's Wife, written by Kristin Harmel, is an engaging Historical Fiction novel inspired by real events. Those events took place in the Champagne Region of France during the dark days of The French Occupation by the Nazi's of World War II. 3 couples trying to survive the horrors their lives have now become, making choices based out of need, personal greed and desperation. Right or wrong, this is their story.From 1940's France to modern day New York, the choices these characters  made leave a lasting mark on those they have yet to meet, but all are forever linked in ways they could never imagine.Blending the past with the present, forgiveness for choices made comes at a price...but is it ever really repaid?literaturebabe.home.blog.com
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in two days. It was awsome! The author takes you from a frindship to a marriage and all the way to the granddaughter... I is full of history and wine making struggles and WWII. I truly loved it. I recommend it to anyone. I am not a history buff, but this was really good.
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  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Winemaker’s Wife” by Kristin Harmel, Gallery Books, August 13, 2019WOW! Kristin Harmel, Author of “The Winemaker’s Wife’ writes an intense, intriguing, captivating, riveting, page-turning, thought-provoking, heartbreaking and emotional novel. The Genres for this Novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction. There are two different timelines in this story. One takes place around 1940, and one is set in the present. Like pieces in a puzzle, the two eventually fall i Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Winemaker’s Wife” by Kristin Harmel, Gallery Books, August 13, 2019WOW! Kristin Harmel, Author of “The Winemaker’s Wife’ writes an intense, intriguing, captivating, riveting, page-turning, thought-provoking, heartbreaking and emotional novel. The Genres for this Novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction. There are two different timelines in this story. One takes place around 1940, and one is set in the present. Like pieces in a puzzle, the two eventually fall into place. The first timeline is during the occupation of France by Germany and World War Two. The story takes place at the champagne vineyards in Northern France. The author describes her dramatic cast of characters as complex, complicated, each with their own set of problems possibly due to the circumstances.When one thing of good champagne, one associates it usually with happiness, cheer, and when congratulations are in order. I don’t think any of us can imagine, the blood, sweat, and tears that occurred in France around 1940 during World War Two in the champagne vineyards and caves. I don’t think we think of the German occupation and the French Resistance. I appreciate that the author has done extensive research during this time period. It is not something that is easy to forget.Michel, the owner of the Maison Chauveau, a champaign house marries Ines. As the Germans get closer, Michel becomes preoccupied with what he feels is the appropriate things to do during the war. He becomes less involved with his wife. Michel’s top winemaker’s wife Celine is partly Jewish, and that becomes a concern as the Germans start to round up Jewish families. It is difficult during the worst of times, to really know who loyal people are.This is a story of loyalties, betrayals, dark secrets, redemption, forgiveness, love, and hope. I was deeply moved and touched by this story. Be warned: Keep the Kleenex close. I would highly recommend this intense and page-turning novel. I can easily see this be adapted to the screen.
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    Kristin Harmel has written a best seller with her novel "The Winemaker's Wife". The setting is in the champagne vineyards of northern France during World War II. The novel begins in the year 1940 and ties in with the present year. The chapters are about the different characters thoughts. There are decisions made that destroy loved ones, family secrets, regrets, and forgiveness. This is a haunting novel that you will be unable to put down until you finish it. I highly recommend this book. I recei Kristin Harmel has written a best seller with her novel "The Winemaker's Wife". The setting is in the champagne vineyards of northern France during World War II. The novel begins in the year 1940 and ties in with the present year. The chapters are about the different characters thoughts. There are decisions made that destroy loved ones, family secrets, regrets, and forgiveness. This is a haunting novel that you will be unable to put down until you finish it. I highly recommend this book. I received an advanced copy of the book from Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Genevieve Montcombroux
    January 1, 1970
    I received The Winemaker’s Wife from the publisher by way of NetGalley on the understanding I give it an honest review. After reading the novel, I find myself faced with the difficult task of giving that honest review to a work that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to finish if I had simply bought the book. The Winemaker’s Wife is a classic example of a first-rate story blighted by unsympathetic and unbelievable characters.I give the author full credit for her mastery of the language, the sty I received The Winemaker’s Wife from the publisher by way of NetGalley on the understanding I give it an honest review. After reading the novel, I find myself faced with the difficult task of giving that honest review to a work that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to finish if I had simply bought the book. The Winemaker’s Wife is a classic example of a first-rate story blighted by unsympathetic and unbelievable characters.I give the author full credit for her mastery of the language, the style and some lovely imagery. The research on champagne making, which forms the background to the story, is thorough and, for the most part, the author doesn’t lecture the reader with unnecessary details. That’s a plus. Inexcusable are the typos, some of them irritating, such as Also irritating are the small but significant errors. The author has Le Monde newspaper publishing an important article in the Sunday edition. Unfortunately, Le Monde does not publish a Sunday paper.Winemakers, particularly champagne makers, were well-off and lived in luxury houses and chateaux, and invariably had domestic staff. Of course, when war broke out there was a shortage of men to tend the vines. Women, including Inès, the lady of the house, had to pitch in and help. The maid took care of the house. The Maison Chauveau is not described as big or grand, despite its international reputation. There is no maid, but Inès has no trouble putting meals on the table, even though she spends her morning putting on lipstick and curling her hair. It’s France, 1940. Inès is newly-married to Michel, the owner of a champagne winery when the Germans invade. Michel works for the Resistance. Inès fears they’ll be exposed, and for Céline, half-Jewish wife of the chef de cave, the risk is even greater. Céline and Michel are in love and have a baby together. Inès has an affair with a Nazi collaborator and naively betrays everyone..New York, 2019. Liv Kent Thierry has just divorced. Her eccentric French grandmother takes her on a trip to France. Grandma harbors a secret she finds difficult to share. Essentially, we have two stories, one in wartime France, the other contemporary. The chapters are, at times, filled out with extraneous padding, such as when Liv is given a history lesson while in Reims, France. Switching back and forth between 2019 and the 1940s leaves the reader wondering what connection there is between the eras. I was tempted (but resisted) to skip the modern chapters and maybe read them afterwards, or not, until the denouement.It is difficult to relate to the characters. For starters, the name Inès is not French and was certainly was not in use in the 1930s and 1940s. She is so naive and so self-centered that she is not believable. She doesn’t grasp there’s a war on, even though her country is occupied by the Wehrmacht. She doesn’t listen to the news or inquire about what’s going on. In one nonsensical scene, Inès is totally surprised whe she enters a brasserie full of Germans, then reproaches her friend Edith for serving the enemy – as if Edith had any choice! Céline is a hard worker yet doesn’t come across as a generous person. She is permanently irritated by Inès’ incompetence. I think I know why. Inès is having an affair with a spurious Nazi-collaborator and Céline is having an affair with Inès’ husband Michel. Halfway through the novel Céline becomes pregnant. Inès discovers the truth and runs to the arms of her lover and naively betrays the resistance group. The men are the typical, silent and brooding heroes left over from an earlier age and are hardly worth mentioning. The modern characters are little better. Liv is a whining woman in the throes of a divorce. Life is bleak, but Edith, her eccentric ninety-nine-year old grandmother, comes to the rescue. Edith is not only fit and healthy (there are people that age who are fit and healthy) but she runs faster than her granddaughter and behaves in a totally unrealistic manner that leaves the reader wondering. Yet she has arthritis in her gnarled hands. If so, she probably has arthritis in other joints too, which is out of keeping with flying up and down the wine cellar stairs.The plot advances at a snail’s pace. Nothing exciting happens until well into the novel, when the story becomes the heart-wrenching, melodramatic tale the reader expected at the beginning. As romantic fiction, is this a good read? Yes, but it doesn’t merit five stars, though.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From the author of the international bestseller, The Room on Rue Amélie comes a remarkable and moving story of love, danger, and betrayal: two women in France in the darkest days of World War II and another in present-day America on a quest to uncover the secret I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From the author of the international bestseller, The Room on Rue Amélie comes a remarkable and moving story of love, danger, and betrayal: two women in France in the darkest days of World War II and another in present-day America on a quest to uncover the secret that connects them. 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 rumours 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.Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network, The Winemaker’s Wife is an evocative and gorgeously wrought novel that examines how the choices we make in our darkest hours can profoundly change our lives—and how hope can come from the places we least expect.Kristin Harmel is a master of engrossing novels that take your breath away - this, her most recent book, is amazing as always. A deft combination of history, love, secrets, and family makes this an incredible book to read - once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down. Aren't secrets amazing?? I will admit that I wasn't a huge fan of the cover - it reminded me too much of the ubiquitous Instagram show where its beautiful scenery but it is marred by the presence of a young, fit girl walking away from the photographer ruining the shot. If that is my only complaint, that is pretty amazing!I run and chose the books for 8 book clubs and this will be showing up on their lists ASAP. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millennials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 NOTE: I cannot link this review to LinkedIn - there is something wrong with the linking/programming and it will not happen.
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  • Crystal Zavala
    January 1, 1970
    So excited to win this on a Goodreads Giveaway! Review to come...
  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Gallery Books and Goodreads for the advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The characters were very hard to relate to or even like at all. Not one. This book is told from 3 points of view. Two woman during WWII Occupied France and one woman in 2019 America. The two women in the past were so very different and not likable at all. One was spoiled and selfish who made stupid mistakes and felt entitled. The other was an adulteress who expected to run the vineyard post w Thank you Gallery Books and Goodreads for the advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The characters were very hard to relate to or even like at all. Not one. This book is told from 3 points of view. Two woman during WWII Occupied France and one woman in 2019 America. The two women in the past were so very different and not likable at all. One was spoiled and selfish who made stupid mistakes and felt entitled. The other was an adulteress who expected to run the vineyard post war with the owner, with whom she’s having the affair. Not relatable or likable.. either one. The modern woman was whiny. Ugh! Can’t someone be strong? Oh, yeah, 99 year-old grandma Edith... yes, 99 and acts 60. Stop it!! She’s also not the only person to live to be 98-100 in this novel. Not very realistic... just my humble opinion. I did like the descriptions of the wine cellars and the region. However, I had a hard time seeing it set in WWII. Something was missing. There were mean Germans, but everyone seemed well fed and clothed and had plenty of gas in their cars. Too much time spent on an adulterous affair when I wanted more about the history of the vineyard or how Maison Chauveau played a part in the resistance. The novel did keep my attention as I love historical fiction and past and present coming together. Just not my favorite.
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  • Armando Lucas Correa
    January 1, 1970
    “With exceptional skill, Kristin Harmel constructs The Winemaker's Wife between the past and the present, giving equal weight and importance to both, all the while weaving a tale full of secrets and betrayals that puts to the test mankind's strength, fragility and vileness. Once you start reading this moving novel, you will not be able to put it down until you reach the last word.”
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  • Bambi Rathman
    January 1, 1970
    Champagne will have a new and special meaning to me after reading this book. "This champagne represents history, my dear. Heroism. Bravery. The people behind these wines helped save France." There's so much history to the craft of winemaking and the winemakers who produce this product. As the author took me back to the 1940's and the invasion by the Nazi's into the vineyards of northern France, I found myself immersed into the story as if I were living it along beside the characters. Historical Champagne will have a new and special meaning to me after reading this book. "This champagne represents history, my dear. Heroism. Bravery. The people behind these wines helped save France." There's so much history to the craft of winemaking and the winemakers who produce this product. As the author took me back to the 1940's and the invasion by the Nazi's into the vineyards of northern France, I found myself immersed into the story as if I were living it along beside the characters. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and Ms. Harmel has written a novel that made me take a look at what happened in history through these pages. I became one with the characters living the horror and dread of what was unfolding during the invasion and the rounding up of a people just because of their religion. I felt the fear of never knowing when their lives would be changed. Living in dread day after day. I joined the Resistance Fighters who put their lives on the line to protect the Jews and their beloved country of France. It was as if I were there. The characters are in complicated situations. The story is written in a dual time line about characters that are related to each other. I enjoyed the way the present day story was intertwined with the past and how as each piece was placed it became a whole picture. There are characters I fought with in my heart and drew the courage to do what they had to in order to protect each other. I hurt, I cried, I felt the betrayals and the dread. I felt the forbidden love and yearning to express that love. I felt the loneliness. There are secrets that can't come out and what the consequences of what that would be. The author has a talent for bringing the story to life in my mind.The setting the author put this story in had me envisioning the tunnels of the caves where the champagne was kept in the barrels, the lush vineyards and grapes, the beautiful House of Chauveau, and just being in the country of France both in the past and also the present. I am intrigued by this history and how it resulted in the efforts of the French Resistance. It would be frightening to do what they did, but survival and determination would make that strength rise up.There are so many passages that Ms. Harmel wrote in this book that made the characters have the depth and ability for me to relate to. "We all make mistakes. But life goes on, and we can always become better. It's not the decisions in your past that matter, but the choices you make about your future." "So you see," Rene concluded triumphantly, "when you drink a glass of Chauveau, you are really tasting heroism in all those bubbles. The Maison Chauveau helped save France."That last passage takes me back to the first sentence of my review....I will always appreciate how the author wrote this story to honor the spirit and determination of the French people. I love learning new things from history and this book has taken me to that place. I want to thank Ms. Harmel and Netgalley for the honor of reading this book! A five star read for me.
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  • Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
    January 1, 1970
    Kristin Harmel's The Winemaker's Wife was a solid read overall for me, although I'll admit I had a few issues with it. I really enjoyed the setting, as WWII and France are two of my favorite settings for historical fiction. I also very much enjoyed the glimpses into the winemaking world and learning that the winemakers were such an active part of the resistance movement during WWII. Harmel's writing is beautiful and the tale is engaging, so that I was easily drawn into the world she wanted to sh Kristin Harmel's The Winemaker's Wife was a solid read overall for me, although I'll admit I had a few issues with it. I really enjoyed the setting, as WWII and France are two of my favorite settings for historical fiction. I also very much enjoyed the glimpses into the winemaking world and learning that the winemakers were such an active part of the resistance movement during WWII. Harmel's writing is beautiful and the tale is engaging, so that I was easily drawn into the world she wanted to show me.My biggest issue with the novel was when I read WWII historical fiction, what I'm looking for is that sense of resistance, those inspirational stories of strength about people who did everything they could to stand up to the Nazis. Even though those aspects are touched on throughout this book, I felt that they often took a backseat to who was in love with who, who was cheating on who, and who was jealous of everyone else. In that sense, it read like a historical romance more so than just historical fiction. I was also unfortunately not a big fan of the character Inès, which didn't help matters since she features prominently in the book. While she comes across as very authentic -- I'm sure there are plenty of people like her in the world -- I found her selfish, juvenile, and just all around irritating, which made it hard to feel sympathetic toward her for the majority of the book. She spends much of the book whining because she thinks everyone thinks she's stupid, but then responds to everyone thinking she's stupid by racing off in her husband's car in the middle of the war to do stupid, reckless things that endanger not only herself but potentially the entire resistance movement. Even though this wasn't my favorite historical fiction read, I would still definitely recommend it to fans of Historical Romance. The writing is lovely, and if you like messy, tangled-up relationships set against a wartime historical background, you'll love The Winemaker's Wife.Note: I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion of the book.
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  • Lee Husemann
    January 1, 1970
    This story is done in a now and then format. Now is Olivia "Liv" Kent in New York, newly divorced from her husband Eric, when whirlwind 99-year-old grandmother Edith Thierry drops in and announces she is taking Liv to France. Then is the story of France during WWII at the Champagne House Maison Chauveau which is run by Michel and his wife Ines along with Theo and his wife Celine. A lot of very interesting happenings occur over the span from 1940 until June 2019. I loved this book. It is very wel This story is done in a now and then format. Now is Olivia "Liv" Kent in New York, newly divorced from her husband Eric, when whirlwind 99-year-old grandmother Edith Thierry drops in and announces she is taking Liv to France. Then is the story of France during WWII at the Champagne House Maison Chauveau which is run by Michel and his wife Ines along with Theo and his wife Celine. A lot of very interesting happenings occur over the span from 1940 until June 2019. I loved this book. It is very well written, very interesting and I felt the characters were very well developed. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this fantastic book which was a page turner.
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  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    The Winemaker’s Wife is a fantastic work of Historical Fiction going from the late 1930’s and mid 1940’s while also visiting the present. The story takes you to the vineyards of France during the occupation by the Germans, the story of those who worked for the French Resistance and those who collaborated with the Germans. It’s a story of a woman who spent her whole life trying to atone for mistakes she made in her youth. There are twists and turns within this story you never see coming. Kristin The Winemaker’s Wife is a fantastic work of Historical Fiction going from the late 1930’s and mid 1940’s while also visiting the present. The story takes you to the vineyards of France during the occupation by the Germans, the story of those who worked for the French Resistance and those who collaborated with the Germans. It’s a story of a woman who spent her whole life trying to atone for mistakes she made in her youth. There are twists and turns within this story you never see coming. Kristin Harmel has written an intriguing and beautiful story of love and heartbreak, trust and betrayal, and a definition of family that is not necessarily tied by blood. The writing is exceptional and all encompassing as you live the story. I absolutely loved this story and can’t recommend it highly enough. If you love historical fiction, if you love an extremely engaging and wonderful storyline full of twists, turns and intrigue this is a MUST read!
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  • Pascale
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I got an advance reader's copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I've said it before, but it bears repeating... I don't like giving or reading 3 star reviews. It's so hard to accurately convey how one feels about a book without the benefit of half stars!At first I was fairly certain I was going to either DNF this or skim through it and give it a pretty low rating. Mostly this stems from the fact that none of the characters are terribly well fleshed out, maybe t Disclaimer: I got an advance reader's copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I've said it before, but it bears repeating... I don't like giving or reading 3 star reviews. It's so hard to accurately convey how one feels about a book without the benefit of half stars!At first I was fairly certain I was going to either DNF this or skim through it and give it a pretty low rating. Mostly this stems from the fact that none of the characters are terribly well fleshed out, maybe three protagonists was a wee bit much?! Or maybe it was because Ines and Céline were just too conveniently polar opposites of one and other; one a spoiled young woman with no awareness of what really happens in war and the other a perfect, selfless angel. Also though the novel is set partially in 1943 in occupied France I feel like Harmel only superficially touched upon what living in this time and in this place would have been like. And though wine is central in the lives of the characters I feel like grape growing, and wine making didn't get the page time they deserved. Setting-wise I feel like caves and brasseries were over represented... I wanted descriptions of grapevines for as one can see, the smells; dry, green, ripe, whatever! Liv our contemporary heroine was also poorly fleshed out. Other than her biography which we learn in her first chapter we don't know anything about her career, her likes, dislikes, aspirations. The plot 'twists' were rather obvious when they were finally revealed, and yet I did find myself getting a little weepy in the end, so Harmel is clearly doing something write...I like time shift novels, I do, maybe just with more thrills thrown in.
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  • Shari Suarez
    January 1, 1970
    Past and present collide in this beautifully written book that takes place during WWII in the Champagne region of France.Michel Chauveau is part of the Resistance in France but his work takes a toll on his marriage to his young wife, Ines. He begins a dangerous relationship with his married employee which triggers a chain of events that reverberates into today.This story offered several twists which I did not see coming but added to the story in wonderful ways.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    The Winemaker's Wife is a wonderful story of love, betrayal, redemption and resilience. The storyline alternates between 1940 and present day 2019. In 1940, Michel and Ines Chauveau operate the Champagne house Maison Chauveau with their wine maker Theo and and his wife, Celine, who is half Jewish. Celine's life becomes in danger when the Germans invade the region. Michel begins to get involved in the Resistance despite Ines' worries, causing a strain in their marriage. In New York, 2019, Liv Ken The Winemaker's Wife is a wonderful story of love, betrayal, redemption and resilience. The storyline alternates between 1940 and present day 2019. In 1940, Michel and Ines Chauveau operate the Champagne house Maison Chauveau with their wine maker Theo and and his wife, Celine, who is half Jewish. Celine's life becomes in danger when the Germans invade the region. Michel begins to get involved in the Resistance despite Ines' worries, causing a strain in their marriage. In New York, 2019, Liv Kent has just divorced her husband when her French grandmother whisks her away to Champagne with a story to tell. As the story unravels, you find out about the all the mistakes they have made and how their lives intertwine. This was a very enjoyable read. The story was engrossing and if you are a wine lover, you may love it even more. I definitely learned a few things about wine making despite not being a drinker. There's not much mention on the war and the usual heaviness surrounding it, it was more focused on the characters' relationships and wine making. I think fans of Tattooist of Auschwitz would enjoy this! Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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  • Angela McVay
    January 1, 1970
    I probably won’t be able to drink another glass of champagne 🍾 or mimosa without thinking about the French Resistance against the Nazi’s during WWW 2. I never considered or even knew that the champagne makers would be forced to turn over their bottles to the Nazi’s but also they sometimes hid Jews and smuggled guns through their wine cellars. Largely, this is a story of a family of fictional winemakers during a turbulent time. A story of love, loss, and regrets that spanned 3 generations. Plot t I probably won’t be able to drink another glass of champagne 🍾 or mimosa without thinking about the French Resistance against the Nazi’s during WWW 2. I never considered or even knew that the champagne makers would be forced to turn over their bottles to the Nazi’s but also they sometimes hid Jews and smuggled guns through their wine cellars. Largely, this is a story of a family of fictional winemakers during a turbulent time. A story of love, loss, and regrets that spanned 3 generations. Plot twists that I could not have predicted made for an even better read. Thank you Netgalley and Gallery, Pocket Books for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. This book was released on 8/13/19 for your enjoyment.
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