The vineyards of champagne

Juliet Blackwell

Book - 2020

"Beneath the cover of France's most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I.... Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the coo...l, dark cellars... In present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne-or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades...and find a way to savor her own life again"--

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Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Historical fiction
Novels
Detective and mystery fiction
Published
New York : Berkley 2020.
Edition
First Edition
Language
English
Physical Description
399 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780451490650
0451490657
Main Author
Juliet Blackwell (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Rosalyn Acosta knows many would be envious of her current work trip to France. But France is the last place Rosalyn wants to be. Still overcome with grief over the death of her husband two years ago, Rosalyn isn't ready to face the place where their happiest memories were made. On the flight over, Rosalyn is seated next to Emma Kinsley, who is as effervescent as the champagne she invests in. Emma introduces Rosalyn to family correspondence between her ancestor and a French WWI soldier; Rosalyn is immediately intrigued by these relics from the past. Meeting again in Champagne, Emma entices Rosalyn to translate the letters, unfolding a story of tragedy and human survival during harrowing times. Through the letters, and her time spent in Champagne, Rosalyn slowly begins to feel the desire to live again. Blackwell's exquisite talent at interweaving the past with the present is on full display in her latest (after The Lost Carousel of Provence, 2018), telling the universal story of grief, loss, and human resilience. Perfect with a flute of the bubbly. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Blackwell (Letters from Paris) moves effortlessly between present-day France and the battlefields of WWI in this rich novel. In present-day Napa, Calif., Rosalyn Acosta is working for Small Fortune Wines and is dispatched to the Champagne region of France to represent the vineyard at a festival. Still suffering following the loss of her husband over two years before, Rosalyn is hesitant to travel but reluctantly agrees. On the flight, she meets Emma Kinsley, a wealthy Australian woman who has invested in some vineyards near Emma's destination. During the flight, Rosalyn helps Emma organize letters that were written by WWI soldier Emile Legrand to Emma's great-aunt Doris. Emma hopes to find the letters her aunt wrote to Emile in Reims, as his letters mentioned that he stored Doris's letters there. Emile's letters reveal the destruction of WWI and how the civilians retreated to live in the caves where the champagne was stored. As Rosalyn seeks to make connections with local vineyard owners and helps Emma search for the missing letters, she begins to heal from the loss of her husband. Blackwell balances the two story lines well, and makes both Rosalyn and Emma memorable. The allure of the decades-old mystery of missing letters juxtaposed against the history of the caves of Champagne makes for a satisfying page-turner. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel and Goderich Literary Management (Jan.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Beneath the cover of France's most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I.... Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and childrenhums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars... In present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne-or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades...and find a way to savor her own life again"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Beneath the cover of France’s most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I. By the New York Times best-selling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Beneath the cover of France's most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence.... Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars... In present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne--or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades...and find a way to savor her own life again.