Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Julie's Review: Eight Hundred Grapes


Author: Laura Dave
Series: None
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 272
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Family drama, drama and more drama but at least it's not your family drama
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: What if your beloved fiancé, he of the crinkly smile and the irresistible British accent, had kept a life-changing secret from you? And what if, just a week before your dream wedding, you discovered it? When these questions become realities for bride-to-be Georgia Ford, she does the only thing that seems to make sense. She runs. She hops in her car and drives through the night, from Los Angeles to Sonoma, to her safe haven, to her messy and loving family, and their acclaimed family winery. Georgia craves the company of those who know her best, and whom she truly knows. And, on the eve of the harvest, Georgia knows she’ll find solace—and distraction—in familiar rituals. But when Georgia arrives home, nothing is at all familiar. Her parents, her brothers, the family business, are all unrecognizable. It seems her fiancé isn’t the only one who’s been keeping secrets. And, much to Georgia’s dismay, it seems likely that this harvest may be the family’s last. Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA TODAY), a “decadent storyteller” (Marie Claire), and “compulsively readable” (Woman’s Day). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect. ~powells.com  

Review: Eight Hundred Grapes is a book where you will want to drink a glass of wine with it, if you enjoy that kind of thing. Also, you will want to make sure you block off a good chunk of time to read this novel in one sitting. That's how good it is.

When things get rough Georgia runs home to the family winery up in Sonoma but she's never done it in her wedding dress before today. She comes home to find solace and advice in her family only to find out that her family is in utter chaos. Her parents whom she thought were so solid, are separated. Her brothers who run a tavern together, are looking to get out of the business.

This book is so rife with family drama that it makes you happy for your own family drama. Throughout it all though, her family remains bonded. They figure out what keeps them together. Georgia thinks it's the winery and the land that keeps them together and worries that as her dad makes a major decision it will ripe their family apart. What Georgia understands at the end of the novel is that perhaps it was the winery that was tearing her family apart.

I loved Georgia's journey even if at times I wanted to smack her. I went back and forth with if she was going to forgive Ben and move on to her life with him. For most of the book, I wanted to smack Ben and kick him to the curb with the understanding that it wouldn't be easy for her, especially because he was tightly woven into their family.

Ms. Dave does a fantastic job of pulling you right in. That first scene makes you want to know what Georgia is running from or perhaps what she is running to. It is obvious that Ms. Dave spent a lot of time research the art of wine making and I'm a little jealous. I was thoroughly impressed with the knowledge about the process she put into Eight Hundred Grapes.

If you are looking for an engrossing book from start to finish, this is the one for you. It's also a perfect summer read. Be prepared not to be willing to put it down.

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