Thursday, April 13, 2017

Book review of Glass Half Full by Caro Feely

Book review Glass Half Full Caro Feely French Village Diaries
Glass Half Full by Caro Feely

My review today is for Glass Half Full, the third memoir about raising a family on an organic vineyard in Saussignac, Dordogne, by Caro Feely.

Having read and enjoyed Caro’s previous memoirs about starting out on the organic wine making path, I was excited at the prospect of catching up with the family and seeing how things are going in her latest book.

Theirs is not an easy life. Since day one, Caro and Sean have invested time, money and their hearts into the vineyard, creating a teaching/tasting room and accommodation, as well as making their organic wine. Caro takes us through each stage of the organic wine making process, and it’s work that never ceases and that can be affected by many things, all year round, that they have no control over. To market their brand then takes more time, money and effort. At the same time Caro is also establishing herself as an expert wine tour guide of the region, something she enjoys and ultimately helps their wine sales, but also has to be fitted into her already busy schedule. Add into this the pre-menopause, that sneaks up on her, plus family life, and it’s not difficult to see why her stress levels are out of control. At times it seemed Sean and Caro each had so much to do there was no time left for each other. Her fragile hormonal state just made their relationship worries seem more pronounced.

This book is Caro’s journey to take back control. She shares the dark times, and also the hope; that by getting in some help, learning to listen to her body and making time for each other, things will begin to move in the right direction. There are times when this is a difficult read, but there are also times when their enthusiasm is contagious and I’d have loved a glass of Chateau Feely wine by my side to toast them as I was reading. I really felt part of their daily life and thanks to Caro's beautifully worded descriptions I could visualise the vineyards and the views, and taste the meals (and wine), grown by Sean and served at the family table. When they do get to leave the vineyard, Caro shares their adventures and what they learn along the way.

Having followed their journey through her memoirs, I hope Caro and Sean are now at a place where they can appreciate how far they have come and how much they have achieved with their business. 

This book will appeal to wine lovers as well as Francophiles and memoir readers. Links to Amazon for all of Caro’s books, published by Summersdale, can be found below.

You can follow Caro on Twitter and via her website.

You can read my France et Moi interview with her here and my reviews of her other memoirs here: