The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

9781982112295_7b330Review originally appeared in Library Journal, July 2019.

Alternating between the vineyards of war-torn 1940s France and present day, the lives of Ines and Michel, newlywed owners of the famed champagne house, Maison Chauveau, and the head winemaker’s Jewish wife, Celine Laurent, are forever altered. As Germans are pillaging homes and sending Jews to prison camps, a frightened Celine draws nearer to Michel for protection, thereby pushing Ines into the arms of another and setting off a chain of dangerous betrayal. The labyrinths of wine cellars beneath Chauveau conceal not only champagne from the Germans, but resistance weapons, Jewish refugees, and forbidden love affairs. Presently, Liv, 41, unemployed and newly divorced after 12 years and many unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy, abruptly departs for Paris with her 99-year old Grandmother Edith, a loving woman, both stylish and eccentric. Unsure of Edith’s motives, Liv questions Edith’s connection to Chauveau and Reims. Readers learn Edith’s painful secrets, and will appreciate the importance of family legacy and the passionate venture of champagne making. Unfolding in multiple viewpoints, the writing is atmospheric and rich, showcasing heavily researched topics of champagne making and French resistance efforts. VERDICT: Harmel’s touching story of love and loss in World War II France will appeal to fans of Pam Jenoff and Kate Quinn.

2019: A Year of Fabulous Books!

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Books Read in 2019: 145

My Top Reads of 2019

Listed in no particular order, here are my top books read in 2019. I’ve included the intended audience and genre. Happy New Year!

  • Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderband (Contemporary Fiction, Beach Read)
  • Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (Contemporary Fiction)
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (Young Adult, Historical Fiction)
  • Educated by Tara Westover (Memoir)
  • The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon (Adult Fantasy)
  • The Guardians by John Grisham (Adult Fiction, Legal Suspense)
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover (Contemporary Romance)
  • Truth or Beard by Penny Reid (Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy)
  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (Young Adult, Historical Fiction)
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (Romantic Comedy)

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