Category Archives: Good Books

Book Club: The Winemaker’s Wife

I have been singing the praises of author Kristin Harmel and asked you to join me in reading her book, The Winemaker’s Wife, and joining me for a book club review.  Today is the day for us to get together and chat.

The Winemaker's Wife by [Kristin Harmel]
Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.

But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe – least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.

Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents – and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about – and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save.

In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job – and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive – and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network, The Winemaker’s Wife is an evocative and gorgeously wrought novel that examines how the choices we make in our darkest hours can profoundly change our lives – and how hope can come from the places we least expect.”

Now for some questions for us to chat about…
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What I’m Reading: The Overnight Guest

One of my favorite authors is Iowa native, Heather Gudenkauf.  I partly like it because her stories are set in Iowa.  There are references that are totally normal to me like someone running through a cornfield.  I can totally picture that and understand what it’s like.  I’ve done it.  The other part I like is that she is just a very good author.  Her stories are convincing…the people are likable.  I just like her as an author.

Her latest book is The Overnight Guest.

I started the book on Saturday and finished it the same day!  That’s how engrossed I was in the book.  I cleaned the house.  I sewed with earbuds.  I did any job I could so that I could keep listening.  I even unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.  It’s the job I like the least when it comes to keeping house.  The book is a total of 9 1/2 hours if listening to audiobook form.

The book had me guessing for quite a while.  At about the 8-hour mark I figured most of it out…not all of it so I was still content to listen on and I was sure glad I did, as there was a twist that I hadn’t guessed yet was totally plausible.

Here is what Amazon has to say:
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What I’m Reading: Emma in the Night

You might remember that I am on a Wendy Walker kick.  In the last four weeks, I’ve listened to three of her books.  The third one is the one I am telling you about today called Emma in the Night.

I am happy to say that the more books I read by her, the more I like her.  That doesn’t always happen.

This one has a good mystery to it.  I did guess a part of the story early on but I didn’t guess the whole story.  I couldn’t quite figure out the rest of the story.  That made reading all the more fun as I was trying and trying to piece everything together.  It made me feel like I was the detective trying to solve the case and I loved that!

Here is what Amazon had to say… Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading: Don’t Look for Me

I told you that last week I listened to American Girl by Wendy Walker.  I like it so much that I looked for more books from the author.  Hoopla, my online library, had this one, Don’t Look for Me.  I immediately downloaded it and started listening.

I’ve been in the mood for mystery, whodunit, thriller-type books so this was a great pick.  I really like this author as she easily sets the books up so several people in the story could have “dunnit”.   She has kept me guessing all along and they threw in a twist in the end for a good measure.

Here is what Amazon has to say:
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