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a fabulous book, a definite great read. Would recommend it highly-will not disappoint. Lots of interesting twists and turns that keep you interested and reading more.!!!
This is my second Kristen Harmel book (Room over Rue Amelie being the first), and while she writes very readable books, I don't think her publisher does her any favours by comparing her work to The Alice Network or The Nightingale. The expectations are too great for this book to match, and the reader will be disappointed. However, knowing her writing style, I was not expecting a blockbuster, and enjoyed the book for what it is - light, easy reading. Yes, it is based during the war, but the focus is character and very little of the actual resistance is involved. If you're looking for a quick, 'chick lit' type book, this is for you. If you want a heavy, war-focused novel, move along. Cheers!
Poor attempt at a "Nightingale" type novel.
It's a "My husband doesn't understand me"
Rather than WWII resistance novel.
Interesting book jacket.
Written at young adult level.
Enjoyed this book. Simply entertaining, uncomplicated. Enjoyed Kristin Harmels style of writing.
Although it was quite interesting to read about how the Champagne houses in France used their cellars to smuggle weapons and hide Jewish refugees during World War II, I found myself getting frustrated with the characters, especially Ines. She was just too naïve to be believable, not to mention incredibly selfish. I did enjoy learning a bit about how Champagne is made.
I did enjoy the novel however was surprised that the main character was so surprisingly naïve and weak the first 2/3 of the way and then all of a sudden joined the Maquis. If you have read non-fiction about WW2 resistance and survivors this will strike you as "really?" as in kind of lame but for those who like France, champagne and some fluff in their historical fiction this will be perfect.
A good plot but the writing style is simplistic and repetitive. The Grandmother should be a strong character but she shows little insight and mettle in her old age. The constant reference to grandmother's inability to forgive herself is annoying. And just assume that a woman who lives in Paris speaks French stop trying to impress the reader with her 'elegant French. The scene in 'heaven' has got to be the most inane scene I've read in years and shows the author's lack of skill and courage to leave some threads inconclusive.
loved it!! Great twist at the end. I loved the Nightingale and this is just as good!
Intentional echoes of "The Nightingale" are apparent. There is extensive dialogue about how the vineyards and wine producers of France approached the adversity of war. Character development is interesting. Reading holds your interest through the final chapter.
One of the worst books I have ever read. It is criminal to compare this book to The Nightingale. Yes is takes place during WWII and yes the main characters are women, but that is where the similarities stop. The WWII characters are flat, immoral and unlikable. The death scene of one of the characters is totally out of the plot line. The story is very choppy with lots of time in between chapters. A total waste of time. Too bad my library spent the money on buying this book.
A toast to Kristin Harmel for the sparkling facts we have learned about making champagne. It is an industry that many know only from afar -- perhaps just an occasional wedding toast. Clearly there was a large amount of research done to produce this novel. There are POV: Liv in the present; Elas and Celine in the past (beginning in 1939). The combination of the champagne business and the resistance was an aspect of the war that was unknown to me previously. It was fascinating to see the two couples (Michel & Elas; Theo & Celine) working together and the ways they responded to the pressures of the business, the stresses of living in a time of war and especially their reactions to the resistance. Some of the characters really frustrated me. I'm not sure I always understood why they made the decisions that they did. That may be just the nature of living in wartimes and not indicative of a lack in character development. In the end, Harmel pulls it off with some tears and cheers. Well done. Will definitely appeal to fans of "The Nightingale" and "The Lost Girls of Paris."
Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Wine + Nazi-occupied France + the French Resistance + love = good reading.