While traveling on my BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge, I stopped off at a fictional vineyard for a glass of wine in Sonoma wine country with Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave . . .
About Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Georgia Ford learned some important secrets while growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard. She knows everything from the number of grapes that it takes to make a bottle of wine to the secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna. But, one week before her wedding, Georgia learns that her fiancé is keeping a life-changing secret. Georgia returns home to the vineyard for comfort only to discover that her fiancé was not the only one keeping a secret.
My Book Review
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave is a feast for lovers of family stories and lovers of wine. I happen to be both.
Thirty-year-old Georgia Ford, raised on her family’s Sonoma County vineyard, is about to get married, only to find herself thrown completely off-balance by the discovery of a number of secrets kept by her fiancé and members of her family.
A moment in the novel that resonated with me (as it relates to the journey of the main character) was this passage:
“My father said the history [of wine] mattered, mostly because it explained the first thing you had to understand about wine: Wine came from itself. Even wine that was supposedly indigenous to its land still utilized grape clones from Europe, mined everything that had come before to try to get somewhere better.”
I loved, loved, loved the ending (not what I expected while reading but far more gratifying when it happened) and I especially enjoyed the richness of the storytelling set within the richness of California’s wine culture.
As a side note, I noticed in the acknowledgments author Laura Dave thanked Lynmar Estate Winery for their guidance in writing the novel. My husband and I have fond memories of our many visits to Lynmar. (I’m tempted to include a few photos of us at Lynmar but that’s not the purpose of this book review.) As members of Lynmar’s Wine Club, we enjoy their wines throughout the year from our home in Virginia – 3,000 miles due East of Sonoma County. And while the setting of the vineyard in this book is NOT Lynmar (don’t want to confuse anyone) my enjoyment of the book was certainly heightened by my imagining the events in the novel taking place at Lynmar. Tickled by this personal connection to the book, I opened a bottle from our collection and enjoyed a glass (or two) while reading Eight Hundred Grapes.
Wine pairs nicely with Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. Five stars for Eight Hundred Grapes.
Read Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
About the Author: Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorce Party, and London Is The Best City In America. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.
Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered. Cosmopolitan Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”
Three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen with Dave adapting Eight Hundred Grapes for Fox2000.
Find out how it all began: READ 5th Annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and My Travels Have Begun!
1. The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen
2. The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek
3. Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
4. The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall
5 . Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
6. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
7. Pieces by Maria Kostaki
8. Summer Secrets by Jane Green
9. It’s You by Jane Porter
10. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
11. Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips
12. The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop
13. The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
14. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
15. Anchored by Brigitte Quinn
16. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly
17. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
18. Star Craving Mad by Elise Miller
Thank you, BookSparks!