My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5 delectable stars to The Lost Vintage! 🍇 🍷 🍇 🍷 🍇
The Lost Vintage introduces Kate as she returns to her family’s vineyard in Burgundy, France, and while there, she uncovers a hidden room containing a lost diary and a host of secrets. The most intriguing was a family picture from the late 1930s containing an unknown person. Who was it? Another family member? And why wouldn’t Kate know whom this person was?
The Lost Vintage is broken into two narratives; one being Kate’s as she seeks to become one of the top wine experts in the world. The other narrative is told in short entries in the diary that Kate found in the hidden room. It is through these entries that the identity of the missing individual is uncovered flashing back to Occupied France during World War II.
Through Kate and her time spent in Burgundy and studying for The Test, I learned a vast amount about wine and wine-making. The line between the Resistance movement versus Collaboration accusations was absorbing, and I was especially interested in how collaborators were treated at the end of the war.
The Lost Vintage is a well-written book that perfectly balances history with an intricate storyline. Along the lines of some of our favorite historicals taking place in Occupied France during WWII, The Lost Vintage gives a fully-developed picture of the sacrifices and humility it took to survive.
Thank you to William Morrow for the ARC. The Lost Vintage is available now!
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Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this page-turning novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II
To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine Examination. She’s failed twice before; her third attempt will be her last. Suddenly finding herself without a job and with the test a few months away, she travels to Burgundy, to spend the fall at the vineyard estate that has belonged to her family for generations. There she can bolster her shaky knowledge of Burgundian vintages and reconnect with her cousin Nico and his wife Heather, who now oversee the grapes’ day-to-day management. The one person Kate hopes to avoid is Jean-Luc, a neighbor vintner and her first love.
At the vineyard house, Kate is eager to help her cousins clean out the enormous basement that is filled with generations of discarded and forgotten belongings. Deep inside the cellar, behind a large armoire, she discovers a hidden room containing a cot, some Resistance pamphlets, and an enormous cache of valuable wine. Piqued by the secret space, Kate begins to dig into her family’s history—a search that takes her back to the dark days of the Second World War and introduces her to a relative she never knew existed, a great half-aunt who was teenager during the Nazi occupation.
As she learns more about her family, the line between Resistance and Collaboration blurs, driving Kate to find the answers to two crucial questions: Who, exactly, did her family aid during the difficult years of the war? And what happened to six valuable bottles of wine that seem to be missing from the cellar’s collection?