The author of the “engrossing” (People) international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie returns with a moving story set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France during the darkest days of World War II. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel is perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this novel. All opinions are mine. This post contains affiliate links.
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.
Having read The Room on Rue Amelie last year, I had high expectations for The Winemaker’s Wife. It was so beautifully written with strong characters and an authentic story line. The Winemaker’s Wife lived up to my expectations, and it is another historical novel that’s going to stick with me. The book jumps between the present and the past and is mainly told through the voices of Ines and Celine. Forgiveness lies at the core of this novel…forgiving others and forgiving yourself.
I enjoy reading books that are set in the WWII era. Of course, there are heartbreaking moments because it was a horrific war with horrific war crimes. Yet throughout this book, moments of hope remind me that truly good people exist in this world. This type of book also makes me wonder if I would have been brave enough to hide Jews if I were in the position to do so. Would I have been brave enough to transport people in danger or smuggle guns to the allies? As the characters in this novel discover, circumstances can make us do things we never thought we would do…both right and wrong.
Find out more about the author and her other books on her website.