|The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah|
My review today is for The Lost Vintage, the new novel from Ann Mah, released today.
Set amid the Burgundy vineyards, we meet wine expert Kate, as she heads back to her French roots to study for her Master of Wine exams. While helping with the family harvest, a discovery in the wine cave reveals a fractured family with long-ago buried secrets, and leads to many questions, all needing answers.
In a journal shared only with the reader, we meet Hélène and follow her life through The Occupation. While we know how she suffered, the hardships of daily life, the sacrifices she made and the risks she took, Kate and her family only know the shadow of Hélène that hangs over the older generation. Her life was incredibly sad, and her journal was a very moving account of the war years.
This book is well researched, both in terms of history and wine facts. There is a good mix of characters, some with an edge of mystery, whose actions made me slightly wary; their motives unknown as we wait for them to be revealed. We have a lost love and an awkward reunion, regrets of past decisions and possibilities of future reconciliations. It all flows beautifully, I enjoyed the switch from the journal to the present day and along with the descriptions of the changing seasons in the vineyards, I felt part of their lives.
Being back in France makes Kate question what she really wants from life. Wine is in her blood, but is the Master of Wine part of her future? Can the older generation let go of the past and let the younger ones move the vineyard forward to a brighter future? You’ll certainly have a great read finding out!
I know this book has been many years in the making, but like a good wine, it has only benefitted from this process of maturation. If you enjoy family historical sagas and a good glass or two of French wine, take this book on holiday with you, it won’t disappoint.
The Lost Vintage is out now in ebook format with the hardback and paperback versions available for pre-order on Amazon UK now. You can read my review Ann's Mastering the Art of French Eating here and links to Amazon for both books can be found below.
If you missed Ann’s Lazy Sunday in France guest post and fancy a quick trip to Paris, you can read more here.