Friday, January 24, 2020

Review: The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell

The Vineyards of Champagne
by Juliet Blackwell

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lie below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest among them venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars...

In present day, Rosalyn travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne--or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades...and find a way to savor her own life again, inspired by the hope and defiance of the women who toiled to bring in the grape harvest during the war.

Kritters Thoughts:  This book should be right up my alley.  A present day storyline with a historical storyline weaving through with letters throughout, but for me it didn't completely work and I will explain why.  

Rosalyn is the main character in the present storyline and she lost her husband to cancer a few years ago and has still kind of been stuck in a rut until her boss sends her to Champagne, France to experience new things and possibly become a better asset to his company.  While on the flight there she meets an interesting woman who has historical letters that she is trying to piece together and when they land in France they will meet back up and go on an adventure.

I liked the characters in this book, that wasn't the problem.  The problem for me was I wanted more from the historical storyline.  There were chapters throughout the book, but I just wanted more!  I felt as though that storyline was lacking and I wanted to learn so much more about that time in France and the ins and outs of living underneath their land.  

I still love this author and will read future books, but for me this one isn't my favorite of her collection.  

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 63 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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