Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

I am a sucker for a good cover. Maybe it's because I recently decided I needed to get into wine or because it's just pretty, but Eight Hundred Gapes caught my eye immediately. It wasn't until later that I realized it was on a ton of "must read" lists. And really, it is quite a lovely little story.

Set in Sonoma, Georgia Ford races home to her family vineyard eight days before her wedding after discovering that her fiance has fathered a child and neglected to tell her. Yet, when she arrives home she discovers that nothing is as familiar and comforting as she expected it to be - her brothers are barely speaking, her parents are living in separate parts of the house, and the vineyard has been sold.

Laura Dave, author of The First Husband, writes a multi-layered love story about family and romance that is a good tale to read while sitting on the beach this fall before it gets too chilly or sipping a glass of Cabernet on your back patio. Georgia is a simultaneously infuriating and endearing character, but the stand out writing is not of the characters themselves but of their passion for the land and wine making. It is a touching and  beautiful analogy for the trials and tribulations of any relationship, woven between the chaotic reunion of the Ford family.

For more eloquently written fiction, though maybe a bit more robust, try anything by Wally Lamb, and for something on the lighter side you might taste test Jennifer Wiener.

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