Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Book review of A Vineyard for Two by Laura Bradbury

French Village Diaries book review A Vineyard for Two Laura Bradbury
A Vineyard for Two by Laura Bradbury

A Vineyard for Two by Laura Bradbury

I enjoyed Laura’s ‘Grape’ series of memoirs of love and life in Burgundy, so was rather excited to get my hands on her first novel, A Vineyard for Two, also set in Burgundy where love, life and wine are key players.

We meet Cerise, widowed and with two young sons, who took over the vineyard lease when her husband died. With the expert tuition and guidance from vineyard owner Maxime, Cerise creates a name for herself in the male-dominated wine community.

When Maxime dies suddenly, Cerise’s stable life once more becomes a place of grief, loss and uncertainty. Inheritance in France is tricky, so it is no real surprise to Cerise to find Maxime’s wealthy grandson Clovis, vintner in his own name, has inherited Maxime’s vineyards and property. However, there is an unusual and unexpected clause. Maxime has left the vineyard Cerise rents to her and Clovis 50/50.

Working with Clovis for the grape harvest, Cerise’s first without Maxime’s guidance, would be enough of a challenge for independent Cerise, but her head and her heart are in turmoil. She is convinced the future for her sons depends on her strength and independence, so persuading Clovis to sell his share to her is the only option. However, the chemistry between them is difficult to ignore. Would giving in to passion and indulging in a harvest affair be so wrong? Would it weaken her position?

This book has all the colours, scents and flavours of France, and Burgundy in particular. We follow the ups and downs of the wine harvest, the hard work, the problems and of course the shared meals, parties and social side too. We get to virtually drink in the fine wines and learn that a good wine is like a glimpse into the wine maker’s soul. Wine becomes like an emotion in this book, intense and sensual. Life is full of decisions and compromises, and making the right choices is never easy. The fire and passion kept me turning the pages, but so did the hope, that even in the difficult times all would turn out right in the end.

I do hope we get to return to Cerise’s vineyard in the future. A Vineyard for Two is available in paperback and ebook format from Amazon and links can be found below.

You might also like my reviews of Laura’s memoirs:

Or her Lazy Sunday in France guest post she wrote for French Village Diaries last year.

You can sign up for her newsletter here and find her on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

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