Saturday, May 18, 2019

Another Excellent Kristin Harmel Novel Right Around the Corner

You all know what I think of Kristin Harmel's books.  I gave The Life Intended and The Room on Rue Amelie 4/4.  The Sweetness of Forgetting didn't earn a 4/4.  That's because I rated it a 4+/4!  It was just too good to give it "only" a 4.  (Do you remember how you used to occasionally get an A+ on a school assignment?  Yeah, me neither.)  So certainly her latest, The Winemaker's Wife (which hits bookstores in August), could not match those earlier three novels...WRONG!  It is also outstanding (did you see the title of this post?).  Here's the storyline:

Champagne, 1940:  Ines 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 Resistance.  Ines fears they'll be exposed, but for Celine, 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 Celine  recklessly follows her heart in one desperate bid for happiness, and Ines 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.

I admit that I love a good story that goes back and forth between a different time and the present.  That captured my attention immediately.  But there's got to be a whole bunch more to keep my interest.  And there was that in TWW.  Kristin not only gives us a different historical perspective for Germany-occupied France during WWII (as it related to wineries); but she also presents us with the present-day mystery of family connections for both Liv and her grandmother, Edith.  Intrigued?  How could you not be.

It's unfortunate that you will have to wait until August before you can get a copy of The Winemaker's Wife.  But do you know what I will be doing while you are reading Kristin's book?  Two things, actually.  First, I am hoping that I will be able to see her in person on book tour, IF she comes to Northern California (are you reading this, Ms./Mr. Publisher?). And, second, I will be impatiently waiting for Kristin's next book!  Keep writing, Kristin, keep writing.