The Vineyards of Champagne
Beneath the cover of France's most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence....Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lie below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest among them venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars...In present day, Rosalyn travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne--or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades...and find a way to savor her own life again, inspired by the hope and defiance of the women who toiled to bring in the grape harvest during the war.

The Vineyards of Champagne Details

TitleThe Vineyards of Champagne
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 21st, 2020
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780451490650
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, France, Adult

The Vineyards of Champagne Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Did you know women and children lived in caves underneath the vineyards of the Champagne region in France during World War I? While the Germans mercilessly shelled their country, there was an underground city brimming with life. And bravery. This is the historical timeline of The Vineyards of Champagne.In the present day, Rosalyn is visiting Champagne to find the best wines for her work in Napa, California. She discovers a collection of WWI letters sharing the daily life of the women and Did you know women and children lived in caves underneath the vineyards of the Champagne region in France during World War I? While the Germans mercilessly shelled their country, there was an underground city brimming with life. And bravery. This is the historical timeline of The Vineyards of Champagne.In the present day, Rosalyn is visiting Champagne to find the best wines for her work in Napa, California. She discovers a collection of WWI letters sharing the daily life of the women and children living in the caves, and that provides inspiration for Rosalyn for hope and healing in her own life.Gosh. I loved the characters. I loved learning more about the Champagne region of France. The message for finding happiness is timeless and inspiring.Overall, The Vineyards of Champagne is a warmhearted story of hope and healing with authentic characters and a lush, fascinating backdrop.I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    WWI France.... A beautiful story about a tragic time. Juliet Blackwell has brilliantly told the story of the Champagne region of France through old letters. Old letters that told the story of the women and children of France living underneath the champagne houses in miles and miles of caves. Entire towns were moved underground homes, shops, bakeries, schools, animals, and of course the people. The only time they came out was to pick the grapes. I was completely fascinated by this part of history WWI France.... A beautiful story about a tragic time. Juliet Blackwell has brilliantly told the story of the Champagne region of France through old letters. Old letters that told the story of the women and children of France living underneath the champagne houses in miles and miles of caves. Entire towns were moved underground homes, shops, bakeries, schools, animals, and of course the people. The only time they came out was to pick the grapes. I was completely fascinated by this part of history I did not previously know, and so was Rosalyn. Rosalyn meets Emma on a plane from San Francisco to Paris. Emma is Australian and traveling to the region to search for more letters and further piece together the story of one of her relatives who was in France during WWI. Rosalyn has recently suffered a loss and is headed reluctantly to France for her work as a wine rep. When Emma offers her an opportunity to help with the researching and translating of these letters, Rosalyn is very tempted. What follows is a beautiful story about friendship, forgiveness, acceptance, Romance, history, Mystery, second chances, and love. This was a contemporary story with history woven in through these letters. I think this would be a great book for someone new to historical fiction, but it will also resonate with the historical fiction lover. Rosalyn is a sympathetic character and I loved how much her character grew throughout the story. I loved The friendships she made and how she learned to trust and open her heart again. The descriptive writing really gave me an authentic feel for France. I have to say I love the fact that the French people embrace the carbs, I was craving bread throughout this entire book. A lovely story that taught me something I did not previously no.This book in emojis. 🇫🇷 🍾 🍷 🥖 🧀 🍇 ✉️ *** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Rosalyn works for a vineyard in Napa, California, and is told she has to go to Champagne, France. Who wouldn't want to go to Champagne, France - well...Rosalyn isn't too excited about going.On her flight over, Rosalyn meets Emma who has found letters from a soldier and a woman that corresponded during the war. She asked Rosalyn to help her put all the letters together and to make some sense out of them, but Rosalyn declines the offer. She said she has to do what her employer asked her to do.When Rosalyn works for a vineyard in Napa, California, and is told she has to go to Champagne, France. Who wouldn't want to go to Champagne, France - well...Rosalyn isn't too excited about going.On her flight over, Rosalyn meets Emma who has found letters from a soldier and a woman that corresponded during the war. She asked Rosalyn to help her put all the letters together and to make some sense out of them, but Rosalyn declines the offer. She said she has to do what her employer asked her to do.When Rosalyn finds one of the letters in her bag that Emma must have not picked up after they all fell to the floor, she becomes interested in the correspondence as she translates the letters through all the grime and worn out and unable-to-be translated words.Rosalyn wishes she would have told Emma she would help her. She could do that if she gets organized and finds the business card Emma had given her.Translating these letters would be much more interesting than going from one local wine producer to the next trying to drum up business.I tend to agree with Rosalyn....I would prefer dealing with the letters to uncover the past than dealing with wine makers. I always enjoy books that have the characters finding items from the past that uncover secrets and a past life.Readers get a marvelous glimpse of France’s quaint, cozy homes, the warmth of the French people, and the history of Champagne and how its citizens coped during the war.If you love champagne, history lessons, learning about wine making in France, unraveling secrets, reading old letters, exploring old houses, meeting marvelous characters, and being treated to a terrific story line, do not miss reading THE VINEYARDS OF CHAMPAGNE.Juliet Blackwell has given us another pull-you-in read.THE VINEYARDS OF CHAMPAGNE will have you falling in love with the characters and the Champagne Region of France, and have you looking at how you need to focus on making yourself happy. 5/5This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Linden
    January 1, 1970
    I have enjoyed two of the author's paranormal series (Haunted Home Renovation and Witchcraft), so I wasn't sure what to expect with her new novel. It was totally different, but I was not disappointed. Rosalyn, a wine sales rep, has been sent to the Champagne region of France to get some new clients. She meets an interesting Aussie woman on the plane, and gets involved with translating some letters from World War I. (Apparently some older women, called marraines de guerre, wrote to the French I have enjoyed two of the author's paranormal series (Haunted Home Renovation and Witchcraft), so I wasn't sure what to expect with her new novel. It was totally different, but I was not disappointed. Rosalyn, a wine sales rep, has been sent to the Champagne region of France to get some new clients. She meets an interesting Aussie woman on the plane, and gets involved with translating some letters from World War I. (Apparently some older women, called marraines de guerre, wrote to the French soldiers in the trenches to help morale. The particular marraine, Doris, was from Australia.) I loved the fact that the chapters alternated between the past and the present.. The love story of Lucie and Emile during the war captivates Rosalyn (who has a lot of personal baggage herself), Blondine (a French woman working for the winery), and Emma (the Australian woman who started the research project), who has secrets of her own. The author has done considerable research into champagne, both the region and the beverage, and the terrible suffering experienced there during the Great War. Highly recommended. Thanks to Berkley and Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Jamie (jamie.bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    I can be so picky with historical fiction, so I am excited to say that I really liked this one. This book brought me right into France, craving some bubbly and a baguette along the entire way.The Vineyards of Champagne is set mostly in present day in Champagne, where Rosalyn has traveled for work to meet with champagne makers to represent in the US. In her travels she meets Emma, who is searching for answers to letters she found from WWI. In these letters tells a story of this region during the I can be so picky with historical fiction, so I am excited to say that I really liked this one. This book brought me right into France, craving some bubbly and a baguette along the entire way.The Vineyards of Champagne is set mostly in present day in Champagne, where Rosalyn has traveled for work to meet with champagne makers to represent in the US. In her travels she meets Emma, who is searching for answers to letters she found from WWI. In these letters tells a story of this region during the war, the residents living in tunnels beneath the vineyards. There are flashbacks and letters that tell this story throughout the book.WWI isn’t a time period that I’ve read much about. I feel like I learned so much about the Champagne region in present day and from during the war. I loved hearing all about harvesting grapes and the making of champagne, it was so interesting. Letters in books tend to lose me, but these were just sprinkled nicely throughout and didn’t take over the story, it worked perfectly to tell the history.I will say it read a bit slow for me at times. You know how some books just read quicker than others? I don’t think it’s a bad thing...there are just so many details that it takes a bit longer to take it all in, but in saying that, because of it you really do feel transported to France while you read it.One other thing I loved is the emphasis from the characters in France that champagne should be enjoyed any day, not just saved for special occasions....that will stick with me. 🍾In fact, I’m going to pop a bottle this weekend! Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for the gifted copy to review!
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  • Sharlene
    January 1, 1970
    I do so love a Juliet Blackwell book. She is an auto buy for me and this is my favorite. I will never look at a glass of champagne the same way ever again. Could not put this one down and some of the most like-able and endearing characters ever. Truly a gem of a book.
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  • Jill Nathanson
    January 1, 1970
    The prologue begins in 1916 with a group of people living in caves below a champagne house in Reims France. The story gripped me immediately and I was desperate to know how these people came to live in the caves and what eventually happened to them. The story switches to the modern day with an interesting assortment of characters trying to track down these very answers. I eagerly followed along with them as they uncovered the truth of these characters, primarily through letters written between a The prologue begins in 1916 with a group of people living in caves below a champagne house in Reims France. The story gripped me immediately and I was desperate to know how these people came to live in the caves and what eventually happened to them. The story switches to the modern day with an interesting assortment of characters trying to track down these very answers. I eagerly followed along with them as they uncovered the truth of these characters, primarily through letters written between a French WWI soldier and a wealthy Australian widow acting as a "marraines de guerre" or godmother, writing to a soldier at the front to keep his spirits up. I liked the mystery of the story, along with the bit of romance thrown in. I also learned quite a bit about the production of champagne and who doesn't want to know more about champagne. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and recommend it.
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  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    I've read most of Juliet Blackwell's mysteries, and all of her novels. However, The Vineyards of Champagne, a story of grief and love, history and vineyards, is a book with a remarkable, moving voice. Blackwell has dug into her own heart to reveal a painful story of loss and resilience.In 1914, a wealthy Australian widow, Doris Whittaker, writes her first letter to a young solder from Reims, France. She and Emile Paul Legrand correspond as he tells his marraine de guerre, his "war godmother", I've read most of Juliet Blackwell's mysteries, and all of her novels. However, The Vineyards of Champagne, a story of grief and love, history and vineyards, is a book with a remarkable, moving voice. Blackwell has dug into her own heart to reveal a painful story of loss and resilience.In 1914, a wealthy Australian widow, Doris Whittaker, writes her first letter to a young solder from Reims, France. She and Emile Paul Legrand correspond as he tells his marraine de guerre, his "war godmother", the story of the ugly, brutal life in the trenches during World War I.In 1916, a young woman named Lucie Marechal tells of the shelling of Reims by the Germans. By day, women, and children, the elderly and infirm hide in the caves under the Champagne region of France. There they shelter, have school, tend the sick and injured, drink champagne. Lucie's story is one of a region's resilience as the women still work to bring in the grapes, to make a Victory Vintage in the hopes that each year will mean the end of the war. On a flight from California to France, Rosalyn Acosta, a widow and wine rep, meets an Australian, Emma Kinsley. Emma has a broken leg, so she needs help when she drops an armload of papers all over the plane. They're letters between Emma's great-grandmother, Doris Whittaker, and a French soldier from Reims. Emma's on her way to Reims to check on her vineyards, but also to search for additional letters and the answer to a mystery. What happened to Emile Paul Legrand? Rosalyn is struggling with grief over the death of her husband, a grief that has left her bereft and struggling to go on with her life. But, her boss pushed her to go to France, to represent their small company in the Champagne region. She has little interest in work. But, while Emma sleeps on the flight, Rosalyn finds the letters distract her.Rosalyn can't sleep when she arrives in Reims, but she's had trouble sleeping ever since Dash died. She remembers her early encounters with him, their life together, and his promise they would always have laughter. But, for her, the laughter died when he did. And, her vivid world turned colorless. But, staying in Reims, learning the history of the Champagne region, and the widows who kept the industry alive, brings her to life a little. It's the research into those letters, though, that sparks something more in her. She wants to know how the people in those letters found the strength to continue to live. Blackwell's The Vineyards of Champagne really needs to be read to come alive. A summary does not do justice to the people in the book, the living ones or the ones from the letters of history. It doesn't do justice to Rosalyn's grief, her "Grief brain", her feelings of loneliness when she's with people, her need to be alone. And, a summary can't do justice to the emotion in this book, the feelings of loss, of struggle. Or, the grief that makes one understand the tragedy of war. "If people knew what it felt like to lose a loved one, if they truly understood the agony, the unfathomable waste of a life cut short, they wouldn't be able to support the war. It would be, quite simple, unbearable.""One foot in front of another." Read The Vineyards of Champagne for a moving story of loss, the loss of an entire generation to war and an entirely different personal loss. But, somewhere in that beautifully written story of grief and loss, there's also a glimpse of hope, and a story of resilience. There's a voice with a broken heart in this book. But, it's a voice moving ahead "One foot in front of another."
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  • Stacie
    January 1, 1970
    Rosalyn is still grieving the death of her husband. But, her job and her boss, whom she owes many favors, is requiring her to travel to Champagne, France. As a wine seller, she is going to try to sign some champagnes to their Napa Valley winery. While on the flight, she meets Emma. Emma is traveling to Champagne to do research on WWI. Emma has letters that went back and forth from the trenches of the war to the caves of Champagne. During the war, people fled to the caves. There were whole Rosalyn is still grieving the death of her husband. But, her job and her boss, whom she owes many favors, is requiring her to travel to Champagne, France. As a wine seller, she is going to try to sign some champagnes to their Napa Valley winery. While on the flight, she meets Emma. Emma is traveling to Champagne to do research on WWI. Emma has letters that went back and forth from the trenches of the war to the caves of Champagne. During the war, people fled to the caves. There were whole villages living in the tunnels and caves underneath the vineyards. There were schools and businesses, and it was the only way people survived during the war. Rosalyn, while meeting with winery owners, finds herself pulled into the stories of Emile and Lucie and their letters.This story is told mainly in the present day with letters from Emile sprinkled throughout. There are a few chapters told from Lucie’s perspective as well. The story moves through the present as Rosalyn, Emma, and their friends connect the stories in the letters and learn about the fate of Emile and Lucie.I had a difficult time reading about the caves and the people living in them and even visiting them during the present day. With 116 steps down, they were deep underground, especially if they kept the villagers safe while their homes were being bombed during the war. As someone who gets claustrophobic, I had to keep reminding myself to take deep breaths during these parts of the book. The amazing thing is that these caves were real and the book is based on real events during WWI in Champagne, France. It is unimaginable to me how hundreds of people lived underground for months and years…going days without seeing any light of day.Blackwell incorporates the French language into the story which makes the characters and the setting very authentic. Her descriptions of places and food and the bubbly champagne make me want to visit there immediately. Her characters have many layers and each is dealing with something difficult, some just more secretly than others.Blackwell handles Rosalyn’s grief well, not shying away from bold feelings or loneliness, despair, or fear of the future. Each character had a unique voice and felt authentic and true to their story. Nothing felt fluffy or trite to me in this book.One reason I love reading historical fiction is that I usually learn some truth from history that I didn’t know before. That is the case with this novel and I appreciate Blackwell sharing this WWI story, the caves, and the unique vineyards and style of growing grapes to make champagne. I will definitely be more curious about the labels the next time I have a bottle of champagne.There is much loss in this novel, but there is also hope. The people of Champagne had to endure months of war in the caves and they were a hearty people to persevere. Rosalyn was enduring months and years of grief and anger and loss, but she also needed to persevere to find joy in her life. The past and the present stories flowed well and as a reader, I longed for the stories of the past as much a Rosalyn longed to find the answers.Fans of historical fiction, dual time-period stories, and war settings will enjoy this novel. For more information as well as a Book Club Kit including facts about drinking champagne, a conversation with the author, a playlist, and discussion questions, check out the author’s website.
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  • Rebekah
    January 1, 1970
    SPOILERS! Struggling with the grief of her husband's death, and all of the after-effects to her financial and personal life after he died, Rosalyn's character fluctuates between an immense feeling of loss and a touch of hatred, which is incredibly confusing as a reader. About halfway through the book, I caught myself thinking, "Wait a minute... so does she think her marriage was a fairy tale, or does she resent him?" Needless to say, I was happy when her character has a moment of clarity with SPOILERS! Struggling with the grief of her husband's death, and all of the after-effects to her financial and personal life after he died, Rosalyn's character fluctuates between an immense feeling of loss and a touch of hatred, which is incredibly confusing as a reader. About halfway through the book, I caught myself thinking, "Wait a minute... so does she think her marriage was a fairy tale, or does she resent him?" Needless to say, I was happy when her character has a moment of clarity with her mentor, Emma, who explains to her that it's OK to feel BOTH. While this conversation was desperately needed, I think the timing of the conversation should've been a little earlier, and it certainly didn't give Rosalyn enough time to mentally recover, in my opinion, to start the relationship she did. The last few chapters felt like they were wrapped in a bow, perfectly tied with a string, and as a reader, I caught myself trying to open my present without ruining the wrapping paper, which is interesting, considering that I predicted EXACTLY what would happen to each character within minutes of their introductions. I haven't quite decided if it's a good thing that I had the level of delicacy with the characters as I finished the novel or not.I left feeling like Rosalyn's character didn't mature the way I expected her to, and as she matured and brought some color back to her life, she became a little boring. Her self-reflection, memories, and passion for the knowledge of what happened/s in the letters lost its spark and as she developed her strength, I felt the author became more engrossed in Rosalyn than with shaping her character into the history of the letters. The letters, I thought, became sort of an afterthought. The history and research demonstrated in the book went above and beyond my expectations. The author does an incredible job of seamlessly weaving historical elements within her tale. This, in my opinion, is what gave the book a 4 (rather than 3) star rating. This was my first novel by Blackwell, and I enjoyed her writing enough that I would go back and read other novels she's published. One of the things I'm most excited about is that I leave on Friday for a trip overseas, and coincidentally, will be driving through the very regions of France in which this book is set. I'm excited to explore, and am hoping to catch a tour of the caves that Lucie lived in.
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  • kaylasbookishlife
    January 1, 1970
    The Vineyards of Champagne follows three storylines: Rosalyn, Doris and Lucie. The main focus is on Rosalyn, a widower in present day Napa valley, struggling to pay off debt that her husband kept from her when he tragically and suddenly died. Rosalyn is told to go to the Champagne region of France to source some smaller vineyards for the winery she words at back in Napa. She doesn't care for France and does not like Champagne so she is not really looking forward to the trip. Rosalyn meets a The Vineyards of Champagne follows three storylines: Rosalyn, Doris and Lucie. The main focus is on Rosalyn, a widower in present day Napa valley, struggling to pay off debt that her husband kept from her when he tragically and suddenly died. Rosalyn is told to go to the Champagne region of France to source some smaller vineyards for the winery she words at back in Napa. She doesn't care for France and does not like Champagne so she is not really looking forward to the trip. Rosalyn meets a vivacious Australian, Emma, on the plane who has a handful of letters from a relative, Doris, who lived during the World Wars. While in France Rosalyn also meets Blondine who is the daughter of the owner of the place she is staying at. Emma and Blondine seem to have this strange rivalry that is never fully explain and it was odd to read their dialogue at times. I liked Rosalyn's character and was really interested in her story about overcoming her grief, moving on, finding love again and getting swept up in the old letters and the mystery that unfolds itself within them. However I found that sometimes she was just odd, like she would always comment internally how she wasn't representing all Americans when Emma (Australian) or Blondine (French) would make comments about American stereotypes. Like I feel like Rosalyn was unaware of the stereotypes and got too defensive about it. While I was interested in the letters and the connection between Lucie and Doris and Rosalyn I feel like we did not get enough of Lucie's story which took place in the town near where Rosalyn was staying. During the world wars citizens would take refugee in the caves under the city and I really wish I got to read more of that and more of Lucie's story. We did get to read letters within Doris' and Lucie's perspectives but most of them were in Rosalyn's perspective. I really liked the connection and the whole tie in of the mystery at the end. I enjoyed the romance and the setting of this novel as well. There were just a few points I think weren't needed in Rosalyn's story and that space could have been given to Lucie. Thank you for the arc!
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    I love historical fiction, especially WWI and WWII. I visited Reims and when I had the opportunity to read this novel set in Reims, I jumped at it. I always hope to get some education with my historical fiction and this book did provide a bit of insight. I did not know that the occupants of the Champagne region lived in caves during WWI, nor did I know about the "marraines de guerre" or godmothers of war who corresponded with soldiers throughout the war. Other than those two gems, there was no I love historical fiction, especially WWI and WWII. I visited Reims and when I had the opportunity to read this novel set in Reims, I jumped at it. I always hope to get some education with my historical fiction and this book did provide a bit of insight. I did not know that the occupants of the Champagne region lived in caves during WWI, nor did I know about the "marraines de guerre" or godmothers of war who corresponded with soldiers throughout the war. Other than those two gems, there was no new information for me.The story unfolded in two time periods. The WWI time period was told through a mix of letters written then (and read either then or in present day) and through character narratives. It was disjointed and did not make for a smooth or engrossing story. The present day portion of the story was a string of romance novel tropes with all of the "twists" being totally predictable. At times, the dialogue was trite to the point of distracting. I did not care for the main character, Rosalyn and at times, I just wanted to slap her. If you do not know much about WWI and are a fan of traditional romance novels, you will find a lot to love here. I wanted to love this book, but it was just okay, but not a stellar read for me. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.While I've only spent a few days in the Champagne region of France, this book did a fantastic job taking me back- and expanding on what I had experienced and seen. The contemporary story in this book followed Rosalyn, a young widow struggling to move forward, as she travels to France for work and is swept up in the search for historical information along the way. The other part of the story tells about the lives of Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.While I've only spent a few days in the Champagne region of France, this book did a fantastic job taking me back- and expanding on what I had experienced and seen. The contemporary story in this book followed Rosalyn, a young widow struggling to move forward, as she travels to France for work and is swept up in the search for historical information along the way. The other part of the story tells about the lives of people in the region during World War I- the devastation of their towns, living in the champagne caves, the loss of life and horrors of living through war. Though melancholy at times, this story was a lovely testament to the region and to the wine.
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  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway.When I began this book I thought it would be another serious historical fiction that played out more like a history lesson involving the Champagne Region and what happened during World War I and beyond. While I would have enjoyed that story, I was surprised and delighted to find that these characters set in modern day, were looking back through history with the help of letters from the time. I loved the development of each character and their I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway.When I began this book I thought it would be another serious historical fiction that played out more like a history lesson involving the Champagne Region and what happened during World War I and beyond. While I would have enjoyed that story, I was surprised and delighted to find that these characters set in modern day, were looking back through history with the help of letters from the time. I loved the development of each character and their differing personalities. Their journey to find out what happened to Lucie and Emile was captivating. I learned so much about what the soldier, civilians, and region went through during this time. It made we want to explore the caves where these people set up whole communities and lived their lives while war was being battled on their doorstep. I couldn't put this one down!
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  • Julie Failla Earhart
    January 1, 1970
    If I don’t get my Christmas cookies baked this year (2019), it’s Juliette Blackwell’s fault. She has written another compelling novel that had to be read as opposed to baking.The story takes place in, and below, in France’s Champagne region. I first learned about the numerous cave systems that run throughout the area when I read Kristin Harmel’s “The Winemaker’s Wife.” Fascinating reading.This story has one of my favorite storytelling devices: dualing timelines. The present day starts off in If I don’t get my Christmas cookies baked this year (2019), it’s Juliette Blackwell’s fault. She has written another compelling novel that had to be read as opposed to baking.The story takes place in, and below, in France’s Champagne region. I first learned about the numerous cave systems that run throughout the area when I read Kristin Harmel’s “The Winemaker’s Wife.” Fascinating reading.This story has one of my favorite storytelling devices: dualing timelines. The present day starts off in California’s Napa Valley. Recently widowed Rosalyn Acosta, a wine rep for Small Fortune Wines, is begin sent to Reims, France, to call on the smaller growers there in hopes of gaining the rights to represent them in the States. There are only two drawbacks to this assignment. First, Rosalyn doesn’t want to go to France, Paris in particular. It was where she and her late husband, Dash, honeymooned. Second, Rosalyn abhors champagne.On the flight to Paris, Rosalyn lives every long-distance flyer’s nightmare. A chatty seatmate in first class. Turns out that the seatmate, Emma, is also headed to Reims. With her she has letters from Emile Legrand, that date to World War I. The letters are are between Emile and Lucie, a childhood friend,and Doris, Emile’s marraine de guerre, or war godmother. Women who wrote to the soldier’s that didn’t have no one back home. Emma knows that to get the complete story, she must find other letters. Letters that have been sitting in attics, backs of closets, in tiny museums for decades. That is her quest and it’s clear early in the novel, that Emma pretty much well gets what she wants.As Rosalyn is reluntanctly brought into Emma’s quest, she becomes fascinated with how the people of the Champagne moved into the cave system in order to avoid the German bombs that fell incessantly. They had schools, shops, resturants, everything that was accessible above ground.So now Rosalyn has two goals while she is there: Land some new accounts and help Emma translate the letters.I enjoyed reading what life was like in the caves. It sounds rather romantic, but the facts lead to a different conclusion. I really enjoyed this novel and “The Vineyards of Champagne” receives 6 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.
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  • Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: Rosalyn Acosta works as a wine sales rep for her friend Hugh in California. He offered her the job and some essential financial support after her husband died of cancer, leaving her grieving and bankrupt. She dislikes sales and is an artist at heart, but it’s hard to support herself and make enough money to pay back creditors by painting.Hugh sends Rosalyn to a sales conference in the Champagne region of France. She doesn’t want to go since she dislikes champagne and has too many Summary: Rosalyn Acosta works as a wine sales rep for her friend Hugh in California. He offered her the job and some essential financial support after her husband died of cancer, leaving her grieving and bankrupt. She dislikes sales and is an artist at heart, but it’s hard to support herself and make enough money to pay back creditors by painting.Hugh sends Rosalyn to a sales conference in the Champagne region of France. She doesn’t want to go since she dislikes champagne and has too many painful memories of her honeymoon in Paris.On the plane, Rosalyn is befriended by a boisterous, wealthy Australian woman, Emma, who offers her assistance. Rosalyn just wants to be left alone, but becomes intrigued by some old letters that Emma is trying to organize and translate. The letters were a legacy from Emma’s great Aunt, written to a young soldier in France during WWI, as part of the marraines de guerre project. Emma was captivated by the soldier’s love of a young woman named Lucie Marechal, who lived in the wine caves under Reims during the war. Emma is traveling to France for both business and research.While helping Emma translate the letters, lonely, grieving Rosalyn is pulled into the simpler pace of the French vineyards and people. With the help of new friends, she discovers her true calling and begins to heal.Comments: There are so many things that pulled me deeply into The Vineyards of Champagne. In this warm and lovely novel, I deeply related to Rosalyn’s numbed feelings of grief and betrayal. Emma is such a bright light despite her own issues. The determination of Lucie and the other townspeople to make champagne and and thrive amidst daily bombings and shootings tugged at something deep within me. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would survive or give up in despair in similar circumstances. I was reminded of my paternal grandfather, himself a soldier during the Great War.And bright and shining, flowing through the grief and loss, is a sparkling reminder of the many joys and celebrations in life: the champagne.Highly recommended for readers of Historical Fiction, General Fiction and novels about World War I, as well as those with an interest in France, champagne and wine history.My Rating: 5 STARS
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  • Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: Rosalyn Acosta works as a wine sales rep for her friend Hugh in California. He offered her the job and some essential financial support after her husband died of cancer, leaving her grieving and bankrupt. She dislikes sales and is an artist at heart, but it’s hard to support herself and make enough money to pay back creditors by painting.Hugh sends Rosalyn to a sales conference in the Champagne region of France. She doesn’t want to go since she dislikes champagne and has too many Summary: Rosalyn Acosta works as a wine sales rep for her friend Hugh in California. He offered her the job and some essential financial support after her husband died of cancer, leaving her grieving and bankrupt. She dislikes sales and is an artist at heart, but it’s hard to support herself and make enough money to pay back creditors by painting.Hugh sends Rosalyn to a sales conference in the Champagne region of France. She doesn’t want to go since she dislikes champagne and has too many painful memories of her honeymoon in Paris.On the plane, Rosalyn is befriended by a boisterous, wealthy Australian woman, Emma, who offers her assistance. Rosalyn just wants to be left alone, but becomes intrigued by some old letters that Emma is trying to organize and translate. The letters were a legacy from Emma’s great Aunt, written to a young soldier in France during WWI, as part of the marraines de guerre project. Emma was captivated by the soldier’s love of a young woman named Lucie Marechal, who lived in the wine caves under Reims during the war. Emma is traveling to France for both business and research.While helping Emma translate the letters, lonely, grieving Rosalyn is pulled into the simpler pace of the French vineyards and people. With the help of new friends, she discovers her true calling and begins to heal.Comments: There are so many things that pulled me deeply into The Vineyards of Champagne. In this warm and lovely novel, I deeply related to Rosalyn’s numbed feelings of grief and betrayal. Emma is such a bright light despite her own issues. The determination of Lucie and the other townspeople to make champagne and and thrive amidst daily bombings and shootings tugged at something deep within me. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would survive or give up in despair in similar circumstances. I was reminded of my paternal grandfather, himself a soldier during the Great War.And bright and shining, flowing through the grief and loss, is a sparkling reminder of the many joys and celebrations in life: the champagne.Highly recommended for readers of Historical Fiction, General Fiction and novels about World War I, as well as those with an interest in France, champagne and wine history.My Rating: 5 STARS
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  • Homerun2
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 starsVery enjoyable novel featuring a modern protagonist whose story is threaded through with the World War I letters she is researching. The background is French champagne country and the city of Reims, where the major champagne houses and their underground tunnels sheltered civilians during the war, a fascinating story.Rosalyn is a young widow who is still rudderless several years after her husband's death from cancer. She adored him, but he left her in a financial mess. She can't 3.75 starsVery enjoyable novel featuring a modern protagonist whose story is threaded through with the World War I letters she is researching. The background is French champagne country and the city of Reims, where the major champagne houses and their underground tunnels sheltered civilians during the war, a fascinating story.Rosalyn is a young widow who is still rudderless several years after her husband's death from cancer. She adored him, but he left her in a financial mess. She can't reconcile her anger at him with her grief at his passing. His friend Hugh kindly offered her a job selling wines for his import firm, a job which she appreciates but has little aptitude for. When it's necessary for someone to make a buying trip to French champagne country, Rosalyn balks. She and her husband honeymooned in Paris and being in France again is bound to be painful. But she has no choice, so she flies to Paris. She meets an interesting Australian woman on the flight who tells her about her project to trace World War I letters with a link to her aunt back to a small village in the Champagne region. She is confident and a bit brash, everything Rosalyn isn't, and Rosalyn declines her offer of a ride to the countryside even though they are going to the same place.She finds she can't face Paris, so she heads immediately to the small village. Over the course of the next several weeks, she regains a little of her equilibrium, and as she notices about herself -- she is "not unhappy." She and Emma, whom she met on the plane, delve further into the story of the young French couple and their lives during the horror of the Great War. The story from the past gets revealed finally, with a few surprises. And Rosalyn gains enough peace to move forward with her life and begin to re-connect with the people around her. A satisfying read with appealing characters and some quite interesting true history from World War I. Thanks to Net Galley and to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Gail
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very special book for me, because there were themes in the book that surprised me and were incredibly relevant given my year. I thought the Vineyards of Champagne was going to be your typical pleasant vacation in France with a side of historical fiction (World War I) enjoyable winter reading book. While it was that for sure, the setting was lovely, I enjoyed feeling like I was spending time in France and brushing up on my French language skills. But, the thing about Rosalyn is she is This was a very special book for me, because there were themes in the book that surprised me and were incredibly relevant given my year. I thought the Vineyards of Champagne was going to be your typical pleasant vacation in France with a side of historical fiction (World War I) enjoyable winter reading book. While it was that for sure, the setting was lovely, I enjoyed feeling like I was spending time in France and brushing up on my French language skills. But, the thing about Rosalyn is she is a widow who has been stuck living in her grief and unable to move forward, and that is what the book is really about. This was timely for me, having just lost my dad six weeks ago, and just beginning the journey with grief. Instead of making me feel worse, this book was comforting to me. Reading about others in this space felt less lonely.The premise of the book involves a woman, Rosalyn, who is working for a wine seller in California and is sent to France to a month to seek our new vineyards to sell in the shop in the U.S. So Rosalyn goes to spend a month in France and while there begins working through the grief process in a way she couldn't at home and opening herself up to friendships and new adventures. While on her flight, Rosalyn meets Emma, who is going to France to find the letters her great-aunt wrote to a French soldier during World War I. A small part of the story is that of this young man, Emile, and a young woman, Lucie, living through the war in France, partially told through letters. It is a smaller part of the book than Rosalyn's story, but weaves in well with Rosalyn's story to form the main plot of the book.I guess this story may not be for everyone, but it was certainly the right book for me at the right time. For me, this is 5 stars and one of my favorites this year. I recommend this book for anyone.I did get a free copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review, but I cannot wait until it comes out in January, because I want to run out and buy a copy to read again in two months.
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: The Vineyards of Champagne, by Juliet BlackwellIn present day, Rosalyn is living in Napa Valley and has been booked by her boss, Hugh, to depart California for Paris, then the Champagne region who has hired her as a wine representative tasked with finding additional French vineyards willing to let his firm rep their vintages in America. Rosalyn has a complicated history and Hugh knows it. She is trying to ignore her heartbreak over the unexpected death of her husband, Dash, a Book Review: The Vineyards of Champagne, by Juliet BlackwellIn present day, Rosalyn is living in Napa Valley and has been booked by her boss, Hugh, to depart California for Paris, then the Champagne region who has hired her as a wine representative tasked with finding additional French vineyards willing to let his firm rep their vintages in America. Rosalyn has a complicated history and Hugh knows it. She is trying to ignore her heartbreak over the unexpected death of her husband, Dash, a charismatic winery owner who died leaving her not only heartbroken but deep in debt. Hugh gave Rosalyn the job to solve both his own problems as well as hers.The book takes a great turn on the flight to Paris when a reluctant Rosalyn meets chatty Emma. They are both going to the same place and during their impromptu meeting Emma tells Rosalyn about the package of World War I letters she is carrying with her in hopes of both translating them and learning more about the family history related to them. The letters and shared destination and passion for wine draw the two women together. As their stories intertwine, along with Rosalyn’s natural curiosity a beautiful story reveals itself in the history of the people of the Champagne region of France who struggled to both stay alive and keep the grapes and the vintage alive during the difficult days of World War I in France.I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the characters. It was a bit of a “neat” set up with Rosalyn meeting Emma on the plane and her connections to the other characters we meet later, but none of that bothered me as the history was enthralling. I loved learning about “des marraines de guerre” – the incredible women who wrote to the soldiers and kept them going through such difficult times. It made a great twist for this particular story. The story of the caves that saved both the French people of the vineyards as well as the wines was also fascinating and would make an incredible tour on the ground in France even today.I highly recommend.
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  • Judy Beetem
    January 1, 1970
    This was an amazing book and unexpectedly deep. From the title I was expecting another romance set in a lush, exotic part of the world - the Champagne region of France to be exact. This book was so much more than that. It concerns recently widowed Rosalyn travelling to the very small town of Cochet in France to meet with champagne producers to make connections for her boss, an importer in Napa Valley. On her flight over she meets Emma Kinsley, a very wealthy Australian woman on her own mission. This was an amazing book and unexpectedly deep. From the title I was expecting another romance set in a lush, exotic part of the world - the Champagne region of France to be exact. This book was so much more than that. It concerns recently widowed Rosalyn travelling to the very small town of Cochet in France to meet with champagne producers to make connections for her boss, an importer in Napa Valley. On her flight over she meets Emma Kinsley, a very wealthy Australian woman on her own mission. Emma is researching letters between her great-aunt Doris and Emile Legrand, a French soldier in WWI. Rosalyn accidently pockets one of the letters and ends up translating it for Emma which leads to an intriguing look at the French countryside during the German invasion as well as cementing her friendship with the bold, colorful Australian. During WWI civilians in the Cochet and the surrounding countryside evacuated to caves under the champagne wineries that had been used to produce and store champagne for years. In spite of the hardships, these people continued to harvest their grapes and produce the rare Victoray vintages. The story switches back and forth betweencenturies. In present day, absorbed in researching and translating the letters, Rosalyn grows from a lonely, grieving woman craving solitude to a confident women following a new direction in her life having formed a deep bond with a close group of friends. World War is shared through Lucie's eyes, a young woman who ends up teaching children who sought refuge in the caves, and through Emile's letters to Doris, his adopted godmother in Australia. The timeline was easy to follow and the characters so well developed I expected to run into them in the next room. I knew next to nothing about WWI and champagne production and enjoyed learning much, much more about both. Blackwell's description of war torn France was hearbreaking, and balanced by the personalities of Lucie, Rosalyn, Emma and their French hosts and hostesses. The description of the champagne and the French vineyards is delicious - I actually looked up flights to and tours of the area. Author Juliet Blackwell obviously loves her subject and the region which makes this well-researched book an even better read. I think anyone who loves to read would enjoy this, especially fans of historical fiction mixed with a little romance and friendshiip. I plan to look up the rest of Blackwell's extensive repertoire. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite bubbly, snuggle up and enjoy!!!
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    One of the things I love most about reading is being taken to places I've never been and learning about long ago events hidden to history. The Vineyards of Champagne easily did both, recounting the tales of World War I and the families who lived among the caves of the Champagne region of France to avoid the shelling and sniper fire that devastated homes and villages and lives.The story moves back and forth in time as we first meet Rosalyn in the present day, traveling to Champagne to find One of the things I love most about reading is being taken to places I've never been and learning about long ago events hidden to history. The Vineyards of Champagne easily did both, recounting the tales of World War I and the families who lived among the caves of the Champagne region of France to avoid the shelling and sniper fire that devastated homes and villages and lives.The story moves back and forth in time as we first meet Rosalyn in the present day, traveling to Champagne to find vineyards willing to sell to her employer, a wine grower and distributor in Napa Valley. But Rosalyn's heart is not in the trip, or even in her work, as she mourns for her deceased husband.But through a chance encounter, Rosalyn is sucked into the history of the region. She begins translating letters from a French World War I soldier, Emile, and we learn about Emile and Lucie and life in the caves and in the trenches of war. It was a fascinating story and I loved hearing the voices from the past. It was also encouraging to see Rosalyn as she began breaking out of her shell, making friends, developing relationships and finding a new life for herself. She develops close friendships with Emma, the owner of the mysterious letters, and Blondine, the daughter of the vineyard owner where Rosalyn's staying. And of course, she meets the handsome Jerome, who helps her learn to love and trust again.Some of the dialog seemed stilted at times as one character or another doled out pieces of history about the region, about champagne, or about the Great War. The ending was somewhat predictable, though not completely, and it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book. Many thanks to Berkley Publishing and NetGalley for an e-ARC of the Vineyards of Champagne for the chance to read and review this story.
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  • Charlotte Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I have always thought WWII was my time but I am coming to realize that WWI was just as intriguing. I love hearing about the history of a place that has always been known for its amazing champagne but has so much more history to learn about. The letters that were read in the present time bring to light a history story that you would never find in a classroom and makes the WWI era so much more real. The art of writing letters is lost to many with all the present technology but in the time of war I have always thought WWII was my time but I am coming to realize that WWI was just as intriguing. I love hearing about the history of a place that has always been known for its amazing champagne but has so much more history to learn about. The letters that were read in the present time bring to light a history story that you would never find in a classroom and makes the WWI era so much more real. The art of writing letters is lost to many with all the present technology but in the time of war that was the only way to send messages of love and support to those who were fighting. I love that people stepped up and wrote to the soldiers that they didn’t even know, it proved that humanity was strong even when the world was at war. Love could withstand anything, friendships were formed, and unfortunately, friendships were lost but most of all people cared, they wanted to help in even the smallest way and were willing to do whatever they could to support the soldiers in their times of need. The present story of Rosalyn was just as important. She was grieving the loss of her husband, working a job that she didn’t love, and traveling to a place that she didn’t enjoy. In France, she found new friendships, discovered that she did like champagne, and learned that she could be happy again. She also helped a new friend solve the mystery of her ancestry. Rosalyn put herself in positions that were uncomfortable and learned that a little discomfort can have great results. I was excited to see her grow and open her heart up to new friendships. The Vineyards of Champagne is an amazing historical fiction book with the dual timelines, the wonderful settings, and the amazing characters it is a must-read.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    One of the things I love about historical fiction is how it can teach me something. There’s a lot of books out there on WWII but I haven’t read many that take place during WWI. I had absolutely no idea that some people actually lived in caves to stay safe.This story is about Rosalyn and Lucie, told in dual timelines.In the current day, Rosalyn is a young widow. Her boss sends her to Champagne to sign some smaller champagne sellers to his label. Rosalyn doesn’t like her job much. She doesn’t like One of the things I love about historical fiction is how it can teach me something. There’s a lot of books out there on WWII but I haven’t read many that take place during WWI. I had absolutely no idea that some people actually lived in caves to stay safe.This story is about Rosalyn and Lucie, told in dual timelines.In the current day, Rosalyn is a young widow. Her boss sends her to Champagne to sign some smaller champagne sellers to his label. Rosalyn doesn’t like her job much. She doesn’t like drinking champagne, she’d not comfortable as a buyer, and she doesn’t want to travel. She wants to stay home. She’s been completely lost since her husband Dash died.She meets a woman on the plane that tells her about a stash of letters she’s trying to research. They are a connection to her family. The letters are written to a distant relative of hers by a young soldier during WWI.The other timeline is about Lucie. She had lived an easy life until wartime. Then her family had no choice but to move into the caves to stay safe from the outside world.What a crazy existence this would be. There was a whole society of people living there by the time the war ended.Rosalyn finds herself getting pulled into the stories about the people in the caves. She much prefers researching this than her actual job.Really interesting story. Great characters.I learned a lot too. I even taught my friend what veuve actually means. I had no idea!
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.Popular stories among our community are Historical Fiction that focus on building your life back together or rediscovering your path from past artifices that ultimately will save your life. Just like the struggle Roselyn went through while visiting the Champagne vineyards in Paris. Even though she was on for a business trip, she This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.Popular stories among our community are Historical Fiction that focus on building your life back together or rediscovering your path from past artifices that ultimately will save your life. Just like the struggle Roselyn went through while visiting the Champagne vineyards in Paris. Even though she was on for a business trip, she discovered letters dated back to WWI that uncovered a secret that was missing in her life after the passing of her husband. These letters uncovered the truth about the refugees that escaped the German hostility of the War and the lives of the families that were in the Vineyards as a hideaway. Roselyn later discovers that life is way to precious to waste on depression because it could be a lot worse. I was so captivated by this story that it almost brought me to tears and I can't wait to share it with everyone in our community.We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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  • Deborah Rusch
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second Julia Blackwell novel I've read that was set in France. She describes the Champagne region of France vividly. I did not know about the history of champagne producing and the effect of women on the product.It was also illuminating to learn about the horrors of World War I and how the Germans devastated the many villages andAnd even the famous cathedral of Reims. Due to the devastation and Despicable fighting methods employed by the Germans who not only killed thousands of This is the second Julia Blackwell novel I've read that was set in France. She describes the Champagne region of France vividly. I did not know about the history of champagne producing and the effect of women on the product.It was also illuminating to learn about the horrors of World War I and how the Germans devastated the many villages andAnd even the famous cathedral of Reims. Due to the devastation and Despicable fighting methods employed by the Germans who not only killed thousands of soldiers but indiscriminately fired and killed randomly citizens including innocent children and women. Because of the destruction above ground the population of the area was forced to live in a series of underground caves for the duration of the war. The story is fascinating because it introduces a present day character Rosalynn who is sent to France byThe wine distributor for whom she works. While she is there she comes to terms with her own personal grief and makes friends with various local and another female character. It is the story of strong independent women Who learn who they are and learn what is important in life.
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  • Susie Dumond
    January 1, 1970
    When Rosalyn travels to the Champagne region of France on business, she's at a bit of a crossroads. She's grieving the death of her husband, struggling financially, hating her job, and fighting to find a path forward. But once she begins to learn the history of Champagne during World War I, she immerses herself in the stories of people living in caves to avoid shrapnel and risking their lives to pick grapes for victory vintage wines.I love the way this book portrays the magic of being at the When Rosalyn travels to the Champagne region of France on business, she's at a bit of a crossroads. She's grieving the death of her husband, struggling financially, hating her job, and fighting to find a path forward. But once she begins to learn the history of Champagne during World War I, she immerses herself in the stories of people living in caves to avoid shrapnel and risking their lives to pick grapes for victory vintage wines.I love the way this book portrays the magic of being at the right place at the right time, and the way strangers can become a lifeline during difficult times. As a wine lover, the setting of this book drew me in right from the start, and I really enjoyed the lesser known historical events included. I would have liked even more of the flashbacks to World War I, as Rosalyn's story lagged a bit for me in the middle. But overall, a transporting and thoroughly enjoyable novel.Thanks to Berkley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful places to hide, these underground chambers where wine is aged and stored. Controlled temperature. Lots of room. Whole schools and businesses relocated there during the German Occupation in WWII. In the present day, two women who were strangers, meet on a Trans-Atlantic flight to France. Find they are going to the same obscure place -- Champagne -- to a small town called Cochet. Where Gaspard Ble and Ble Champagne are located. Rosalyn and Emma soon learn that they are looking for Wonderful places to hide, these underground chambers where wine is aged and stored. Controlled temperature. Lots of room. Whole schools and businesses relocated there during the German Occupation in WWII. In the present day, two women who were strangers, meet on a Trans-Atlantic flight to France. Find they are going to the same obscure place -- Champagne -- to a small town called Cochet. Where Gaspard Ble and Ble Champagne are located. Rosalyn and Emma soon learn that they are looking for related bits of information, and that they can help each other get answers.An interesting look at a not-well-known slice of French history.I read this EARC courtesy of Berkeley Publishing and Net Galley. pub date 01/21/20
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  • Emmanuelle Works
    January 1, 1970
    I won this one in a Goodreads giveaway. Since I started entering, I've discovered the appeal of professional writers of bestsellers, the reliable authors who can produce a respectable, predictable, but entertaining novel a year. This one is sweet, making you care for the characters, while deftly avoiding the worst pitfalls of the most painful sentimentality. It's an easy, well-paced, enjoyable read. As a French person who moved to the US 25 years ago, I appreciate her love and knowledge of I won this one in a Goodreads giveaway. Since I started entering, I've discovered the appeal of professional writers of bestsellers, the reliable authors who can produce a respectable, predictable, but entertaining novel a year. This one is sweet, making you care for the characters, while deftly avoiding the worst pitfalls of the most painful sentimentality. It's an easy, well-paced, enjoyable read. As a French person who moved to the US 25 years ago, I appreciate her love and knowledge of France and French people, and her choice of perspective mostly through the eyes of the American tourist. If this is your kind of literature, it's actually worth 4.5 stars. As for me, I'll look for another one of her books next time I want a nostalgic trip to France and a sweetly mysterious story.
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  • Chris Markley
    January 1, 1970
    Set among the vineyards of Champagne this is a story of love, loss, survival, and finding your life and yourself when you feel like you can not go on. Rosalyn works for a wine distributor and is sent on a trip of a lifetime, a working vacation to Champagne but Rosalyn does not want to be there and does not understand the fascination with champagne. On the plane she meets Emma and is drawn to Emma and the project she is working on, searching for World War I letters from her aunt in Australia to a Set among the vineyards of Champagne this is a story of love, loss, survival, and finding your life and yourself when you feel like you can not go on. Rosalyn works for a wine distributor and is sent on a trip of a lifetime, a working vacation to Champagne but Rosalyn does not want to be there and does not understand the fascination with champagne. On the plane she meets Emma and is drawn to Emma and the project she is working on, searching for World War I letters from her aunt in Australia to a soldier in France. As Rosalyn searches for more letters and what happened to Emilie she finds herself and a life she never imagined.Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC for my honest review.
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