Friday, October 7, 2022

The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel

I learn about books in many different places. I am subscribed to author's and publisher's newsletters, I follow several authors on social media and each week I also check in on What Are You Reading Wednesday with a local library. Through these different modes, I often hear about books that pique my interest. That was the case with the book that I just finished reading, The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel. I read a little blurb about it and put a hold on it through the library.

As with a few books that I have read recently, there were two timelines and a few points of view used to tell the story. The first timeline was in the Champagne region of France during World War II and during modern time in New York and France. One thing that I like about the combination of then and now timelines is that it allows the reader to learn both the details of the story from a time long ago but also gain perspective on how things resolve with the perspective of the current timeline. The characters are well developed and generally, likeable. I found myself feeling bad for them during struggles, outraged by their behavior at other times and genuinely vested in their story and their outcome. Another element that I enjoyed about this book were the unexpected twists. I did start to wonder about the one twist about half way through the story but the other twist caught me by complete surprise (can't tell you what they were, that would ruin it).

About the book:
The Winemaker's Wife

The author of the “engrossing” (People) international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie returns with a moving story set amid the champagne vineyards of France during the darkest days of World War II, perfect for fans of Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

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, the French-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 vineyard that ties them together.

New York, 2019: Recently divorced, Liv Kent is at rock bottom when her feisty, 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.

About Kristin Harmel:

Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling, USA Todaybestselling, and #1 international bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars, The Book of Lost Names, The Winemaker’s Wife, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages and are sold all over the world.

Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. In addition to a long magazine writing career, primarily writing and reporting for PEOPLE magazine (as well as articles published in American Baby, Men’s Health, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, Ladies’ Home Journal, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz.

Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Worthington, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She is also the co-founder and co-host of the popular weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.

I really enjoyed this book by Kristin Harmel and would recommend it to friends (and actually already have). I plan to add her name on my author's to read list and will pick up some of her older books and watch for her new release planned for early next summer. I just started following her on social media and hope to check out the podcast that she does with three author friends. I checked upcoming events and see that I missed seeing her locally in the spring but will be on the watch for another local visit.

What have you been reading lately?