Wow, what a book! I dove into The Widows of Champagne thinking it might be just another sad World War II tale, but boy, was I in for a treat. This novel took me on a journey with three generations of resilient women fighting to safeguard their family’s vineyard during a tumultuous time in France.
Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree, a woman with a secret mission, is at the forefront. Instead of gearing up for a grand celebration of two centuries of champagne excellence, she orchestrates a covert operation to protect the vineyard’s most precious vintages from the clutches of the Nazis. The tension is palpable, and you can feel the weight she carries on her young shoulders.
Then there’s Hélène, Gabrielle’s mother, a former Parisian socialite who lost her husband to a previous war. Now, her home is under German control, and the vineyards are being plundered to quench the Third Reich’s insatiable thirst for the finest champagne. But Hélène harbors an even more significant secret—a heritage hidden in the shadows.
Josephine, the family matriarch, oversees it all, witnessing her beloved vineyard facing its most challenging harvest. The narrative weaves through the struggles of these incredible women, dealing with enemies, unexpected allies, and a deep well of faith that becomes a wellspring of resistance.
As an oenophile, I reveled in the intricate details about winemaking, especially the champagne-making process. The storytelling is not just captivating; it’s downright beautiful. With three strong female leads who are both likable and courageous, the book envelops you in the terror, love, and bravery of these remarkable women. Trust me; their stories will linger in your mind long after you turn the last page.
Here’s a rare statement from me—I’m crossing my fingers for a sequel! The Widows of Champagne is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and it’s a solid 5-star recommendation. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable journey.
** Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a comp of this book. The opinions are my own.