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France, wine, WWII, present day, and love all of this wrapped into one amazing, difficult to put down read.We meet Inez, Celine, Michel, Thor, Liv, and Liv s French grandmother, Edith, as the story moves back and forth in time.We find out about the lives of the winemakers during the war and a secret that grandmother has kept for many years as well as a connection that the vineyards, a restaurant, and the characters have to both time periods and to their lives.Grandmother Edith was my favorite character mysterious and stubborn all rolled into one.Liv was likable as well.Inez, Celine, Michel, and Thor were interesting, and their wine tunnels were fascinating.We learn of the war, the resistance, the French people involved in the resistance, and how the danger of making one simple mistake could alter the safety of many people THE WINEMAKER S WIFE is another marvelous, intriguing read about the resiliency and determination of the French people and the entire European population.Those of us who were not living during this time, do not have any idea of the horrors and hardships endured by the European people Ms Harmel weaved a beautiful tale filled with authentic characters and a story line that kept me turning the pages to learn as well as cry with the characters.Absolutely LOVED this book Do not miss reading this book 5 5This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This is one of those times where I feel finishing the book was redemption This book features the Champagne area of France during WWII We have alternating storylines with Ines Chauvin, Edith Thierry and Celine Laurent in the 1940 s and present day with Liv This is your standard historical fiction novel with a few twists, heartbreak and of course a background of tragedy with the holocaust casting a cloud over the novel I appreciated the author s attempt to introduce a fresh perspective with the champagne house narrative and history, but it just didn t hit for me.Most of the book was a challenge to connect to the characters They are just so unlikable that it made it hard to find anyone to get behind in this story I anticipated most of the twists that inevitably present themselves to the reader I found myself finding most of the plot extremely hard to believe and was constantly rolling my eyes at the conveniences that kept popping up I also hated the present day storyline Liv and the lawyer fall in love almost immediately is that realistic Maybe, but not based on what the author wrote While I appreciated the attempt Harmel tried with presenting Ines as someone that didn t believe what the Nazi s were orchestrating, I ultimately couldn t believe how stupid she was with her decisions during this period in history If I DNF d books, this might ve been one I would have set aside early on, however I am so glad I finished it The end mostly redeemed this novel for me and brought my review up to 3 stars This is one of those times where I am thankful that I am an eternal completest Thank you to Netgalley and Galley Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The synopsis provided for this story is a bit misleading Less than 15% of the story deals with the French Resistance and over, it goes into little to no details about what they did other than hiding the munitions as stated in the synopsis The members are never named, the groups are unknown, and the effect of their cause is anonymous The reader never sees the outcome of what came from their help with the resistance and there is no action regarding the resistance movement.The premise for this book was an interesting concept showing a different perspective of WWII German occupied citizens the winemakers It was interesting that they were treated differently since the Nazi soldiers needed booze, and I would have liked interaction between them.This novel relishes in marital problems, affairs, and wine The chapters alternate between Liz, Ines, and Celine The reader is quickly made aware of Liz s divorce in 2019 which causes her to fly to Reims, France to stay with her 99 year old spunky Grandma Edith Meanwhile set in 1943 during German occupied France, Ines and Celine both express their own marital problems The first half of the book primarily focuses on Ines and Celine s relationship problems with their spouses Ines constantly feels left out and insignificant, and for the reader it frequently feels like she is whining and can become annoying to suffer through the pages of her moaning about no one caring about her Overall, there was little depth to the main characters, so none of them really resonated with me I didn t like any of the characters set in the past, and I felt like it was hard to get to know them as a reader On the other hand, I did like Grandma Edith and it was her relationship with Liv and the connection that was to be made between her and the past that caused me to keep reading The ending was carefully crafted and enjoyable This is a good light read for those interested in both romance and wine There are pages and pages beautifully describing how wine is made Thank you to Gallery Books, Kristin Harmel, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 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 In s Chauveau, a young wife who after feeling neglected and misunderstood naively makes choices that have far reaching, life changing consequences C line 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.Thank you to Simon Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. [ Download Kindle ] ☩ The Winemaker's Wife ⚔ The Author Of The Engrossing People International Bestseller The Room On Rue Am Lie 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 AuschwitzChampagne, In S 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 TheR Sistance In S Fears They Ll Be Exposed, But For C Line, 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 C Line Recklessly Follows Her Heart In One Desperate Bid For Happiness, And In S 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, 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
Rating 3.5 stars rounded down to 3 starsThis is a dual timeline book mainly focusing on northern France during WWII There are some contemporary chapters interwoven which helped propel the storyline I m giving the book 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 stars This book s genre is Historical Fiction For me there were not enough historical details about the French Resistance in the Champagne region of France during the war to sink my teeth into It often felt like a Romance or Chic Lit Women s Fiction genre book There was a lot going on with the three main protagonists in the WWII era There is Michel Chauveau, and his recently wed wife, Ines Also in the mix are Theo and Celine Laurent Michel recently inherited Maison Chauveau upon the death of his father He has worked hard to learn the wine, specifically the champagne, business Maison Chauveau is unique Michel s grandfather dug an elaborate system of caves under the main house The grapes are made into champagne in the caves The resulting bottles are stored and tended in the caves to until they are ready for market Much of the dramatic action of the book takes place in the caves.Theo is Michel s chef du cave cellar master His half Jewish wife, Celine, was raised in a winemaking family from Burgundy She is a good resource for many facets of the wine making process Ines is the odd person out in this mix She has no wine making experience She soon feels real and imagined slights from Michel and Celine Her feeling of exclusion leads her to make some bad decision have catastrophic unintended consequences However, she is not the only one with unclean hands Then we have the modern story of Grandma Edith and Liv While reading the modern chapters I was usually impatient to return to the WWII era to see what new scrapes this foursome was encountering This was a brutal time of German occupation, French citizens collaborating with the Germans, and French Resistance networks Those elements were touched upon in the story Michel was working for the Resistance I would have liked to read about that work in the book The story often dipped into Romance Chic Lit levels of angst, especially in the modern storyline I would recommend this book to wine making aficionados who want to learn about the Champagne region during WWII I would also recommend it to readers who usually enjoy Women s Fiction and want to learn about this region in France during WWII The Author s Notes at the end of the book also gave resources for continued research about this era and region, and the backstory of how the book came about I appreciated having that information Thank You to NetGalley the publisher, Gallery, Pocket Books and the author, Kristin Harmel for providing a free e ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3 champagne starsThis is a well researched historical fiction tale set in the champagne region of France, mostly during WWII I truly enjoyed learning about the process of maintaining a vineyard, the process for making champagne, and a bit about what the inhabitants of this region did as part of the French resistance.The three women in this book Celine, Ines, and Liv mostly didn t capture my sympathy until the end of the book They didn t feel fleshed out and I struggled to understand why they acted in certain ways I just didn t connect to them in the way I do with a book that I love There are elements of intrigue, secrets, and deception all woven into this one.I really liked The Room on Rue Amelie by this author, so I will definitely read her next book, I wish I would have liked this one.Thank you to NetGalley, Kristin Harmel, and Gallery Pocket Books for a copy of the book to read. My thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher Okay Minority opinion alert This book currently has a very respectable 4.14 average on Goodreads, so if the synopsis sounds like something you ll love, by all means, don t let my review turn you off of it But my honest reaction to this novel was mainly disappointment To start with, the synopsis gave me an impression of a plot that was firmly rooted in the resistance movement in France Unfortunately, this all felt very secondary in the novel, and the main thrust of the historical portion of the plot hinges around marital affairs and discord In and of itself, this could have been a decent focus for a story despite not being what I was expecting had the characters involved been a bit developed All that being said, there were high stakes for this part of the book and good cause to be emotionally invested in the outcome The modern portion of the plot, by contrast, felt tacked on and lifeless Liv, much like the characters in the earlier timeline, feel quite underdeveloped, and she was without the benefit of the tension in the HF portion to push the story along Liv is recently divorced and sad about it A very obvious romantic interest figure pops into the story when Liv s grandmother, Edith takes her to France, and their romance is delayed to a positively ridiculous degree by a misunderstanding and multiple characters failure to communicate very basic facts Harmel has quite a few novels under her belt, but this one unfortunately read like a debut, in my opinion The characters were all very shallow, and were often unsympathetic when I believe the author did not intend for them to be The plot sometimes strained the limits of incredulity, and the interesting aspects of the story routinely took a back seat to things like wine making and affairs The rating is comparable to her prior books, however, so I think it s safe to say that fans of her existing work will not be disappointed in this book as I was All that being said, I was still prepared to rate this around three stars rather than two until I got to a particular scene that cast the entirety of the book in a bad light for me I will try to be as vague as possible to avoid giving away huge plot points, but some spoilers are ahead view spoiler In a moment of distress, a character I ll call her person A confides in a person whom she knows to be a Nazi collaborator The secrets she gives away lead to the arrest of several people, who then end up in a concentration camp Years later, one of the characters who has managed to survive the camp I ll call her person B makes quite a point of saying that she doesn t blame the person who gave her up to the Nazis Her reasoning is essentially that Person A was careless but not cruel Again, I d like to emphasize that Person A was well aware that her confidant was a Nazi collaborator I m all for victims finding forgiveness for those who have harmed them if it helps them find peace, but Person B is not a real person with autonomy she is a character being fed lines by an author Forgiveness can be healing, but there s something about the narrative that seems to frame this as the correct choice, and that didn t sit well with me Perhaps I m entirely misreading the author s intentions, but this was the impression I left the book with, and it was enough to turn me off of a book I already had a rather lukewarm experience reading hide spoiler I received a free copy of The Winemaker s Wife by Kristin Harmel from Goodreads for my honest opinion.A wonderful work of Historical Fiction with dual time lines that take place between World War II and present day The focus of the story is on a champagne house in the Champagne region of France A story of a woman who spent her whole life trying to make amends for mistakes she made in her youth There are twists and turns within this story you never see coming.The characters are wonderful and real and full of life The writing is brilliant and you will feel the struggles each character faces Absolutely brilliant In the Champagne region of France, newlyweds Michel and Ines owned a winery by the name of Maison Chauveau During the 1940s when WWII breaks out, the Nazis invade their small town and take over the supply produced by their winery Lucky for Ines, her life isn t heavily affected by the war, but even still, her marriage is perishing before her eyes And then Ines discovers that Michel is taking part in the French Resistance and she worries what his actions will cost them Celine and her husband Theo live in a cottage on Maison Cheuveau s property, as Theo is Michel s righthand man When Celine learns that the Germans are arresting and sending Jews to work camps, she starts to worry, as she is half Jewish Celine s fears nearly consume her, but her husband doesn t have the empathy she is looking for Instead, she finds sensitivity in Michel, and they strike up a relationship, even in the midst of war In present day, Liz is recently divorced and doesn t know what to do with her life now She visits her 99 year old grandmother Edith in France a chance to get to know her grandmother better while deciding where to go next While in France, Edith starts to reveal stories of her past and Liv learns that Edith was involved in WWII than she originally thought She s getting to discover her family s history but why did Edith wait so long to tell her story The Winemaker s Wife is Kristin Harmel s latest WWII novel set in France I was intrigued by this story because it shed light on a part of French history I wasn t familiar with I never thought about how the wineries were affected by the war I feel like the author could ve delved deeper into how the Nazi s invaded these wineries This story doesn t focus on the gritty, heartbreaking details of WWII and is instead surface level, which can be far palatable for those who have a hard time reading about concentration camps My problem with a lot of this story is the characters I found Ines and Celine to both be unlikable characters and they both were only slightly redeemable by the end I liked Liv, but I wish we saw of her life 3 5 stars Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Books and Kristin Harmel for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.