The Winemaker's Wife

The Winemaker's Wife

Book - 2019
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"At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah. But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe—least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help. Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents—and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about—and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save. In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job—and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau."
Publisher: New York : Gallery Books, 2019.
Edition: Gallery Books Canadian export edition.
ISBN: 9781982129880
Characteristics: 389 pages ;,23 cm


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Jan 19, 2020

More if a
"My husband doesn't understand me"
Rather than WWII resistance novel.
Interesting title.
Interesting book jacket.
Written at young adult level.
Poor attempt at a "Nightengale" type novel.

Jan 09, 2020

Enjoyed this book. Simply entertaining, uncomplicated. Enjoyed Kristin Harmels style of writing.

VaughanPLKim Dec 29, 2019

Although it was quite interesting to read about how the Champagne houses in France used their cellars to smuggle weapons and hide Jewish refugees during World War II, I found myself getting frustrated with the characters, especially Ines. She was just too naïve to be believable, not to mention incredibly selfish. I did enjoy learning a bit about how Champagne is made.

Nov 26, 2019

I did enjoy the novel however was surprised that the main character was so surprisingly naïve and weak the first 2/3 of the way and then all of a sudden joined the Maquis. If you have read non-fiction about WW2 resistance and survivors this will strike you as "really?" as in kind of lame but for those who like France, champagne and some fluff in their historical fiction this will be perfect.

Nov 09, 2019

A different take on nazi interactions.
It did go on a bit but I enjoyed it.

A good plot but the writing style is simplistic and repetitive. The Grandmother should be a strong character but she shows little insight and mettle in her old age. The constant reference to grandmother's inability to forgive herself is annoying. And just assume that a woman who lives in Paris speaks French stop trying to impress the reader with her 'elegant French. The scene in 'heaven' has got to be the most inane scene I've read in years and shows the author's lack of skill and courage to leave some threads inconclusive.

Oct 24, 2019

loved it!! Great twist at the end. I loved the Nightingale and this is just as good!

Sep 25, 2019

Intentional echoes of "The Nightingale" are apparent. There is extensive dialogue about how the vineyards and wine producers of France approached the adversity of war. Character development is interesting. Reading holds your interest through the final chapter.

Sep 23, 2019

One of the worst books I have ever read. It is criminal to compare this book to The Nightingale. Yes is takes place during WWII and yes the main characters are women, but that is where the similarities stop. The WWII characters are flat, immoral and unlikable. The death scene of one of the characters is totally out of the plot line. The story is very choppy with lots of time in between chapters. A total waste of time. Too bad my library spent the money on buying this book.

Aug 06, 2019

A toast to Kristin Harmel for the sparkling facts we have learned about making champagne. It is an industry that many know only from afar -- perhaps just an occasional wedding toast. Clearly there was a large amount of research done to produce this novel. There are POV: Liv in the present; Elas and Celine in the past (beginning in 1939). The combination of the champagne business and the resistance was an aspect of the war that was unknown to me previously. It was fascinating to see the two couples (Michel & Elas; Theo & Celine) working together and the ways they responded to the pressures of the business, the stresses of living in a time of war and especially their reactions to the resistance. Some of the characters really frustrated me. I'm not sure I always understood why they made the decisions that they did. That may be just the nature of living in wartimes and not indicative of a lack in character development. In the end, Harmel pulls it off with some tears and cheers. Well done. Will definitely appeal to fans of "The Nightingale" and "The Lost Girls of Paris."

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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