#BookReview Kristin Harmel - The Winemaker's Wife
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.
'The Winemaker's Wife' is a beautifully heartbreaking read.
It was a bit of a slow start. As the story alternates between chapters set in the past and those in the present day, it takes a little while before the story starts unfolding. I didn't connect as much with those present day chapters, but luckily the story is mostly being told by or through the characters from the 1940's. And that story is both beautiful and tragic. Hearing from the perspective of several different people adds even more extra layers to the history of the Maison Chauveau and it's inhabitants. It also gives you, as a reader, the chance to get to know all the different characters involved. To understand their motives, reactions and feelings. I loved how they are all flawed, complicated and brave, all in their own ways. The building tension as the war continues is tangible. The stakes are so high and, as we see while the story unfolds and catches up to the present day, the decisions and choices made have an impact for generations to come. Beautiful.