Author: Kristin Harmel
Published by: Gallery Books on Aug. 13, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Rating: 9/10
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.
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.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.