Love and Betrayal in the Vineyards of Champagne

Champagne, 1940: Inès has just married Michel, the owner of the renowned champagne house Maison Chauveau, when the Germans invade France. As danger mounts, Michel becomes involved with the Resistance. Inès fears exposure, while Céline, the half-Jewish wife of the chief winemaker, faces an even greater threat as rumors of Jewish deportations spread.

Desperation leads Céline to a reckless choice for happiness, and Inès makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator, risking the lives and legacy of those she loves.

New York, 2019: Liv Kent is grappling with a recent divorce. When her eccentric French grandmother arrives and insists on a sudden trip to Paris for reasons unknown, Liv Kent is taken aback.

Harmel’s richly researched novel paints a vivid picture of the stress and danger of life in occupied France, highlighting the bravery of the French Resistance and the intricate art of winemaking. Though the present-day storyline sometimes feels contrived, it adds a layer of mystery and intrigue. Alternating between the vineyards of war-torn France and modern-day New York, The Winemaker’s Wife weaves a tale of love, betrayal, and resilience.

While the characters may not be relatable or likable, the tale they tell is engaging and suspenseful. If you enjoy historical novels with a touch of romance and danger, The Winemaker’s Wife might be a good choice. It isn’t as memorable as some of Harmel’s other books, but it is a worthwhile read. 4 stars.

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