[PDF / Epub] ⚣ The Vineyards of Champagne ✈ Juliet Blackwell – Thomashillier.co.uk

The Vineyards of Champagne 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 ProvenceDeep Within The Labyrinth Of Caves That Lie 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 Among Them Venture Out To Pluck Sweet Grapes For The Harvest But Wine Is Not The Only Secret Preserved In The Cool, Dark CellarsIn Present Day, Rosalyn 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 Decadesand Find A Way To Savor Her Own Life Again, Inspired By The Hope And Defiance Of The Women Who Toiled To Bring In The Grape Harvest During The War


10 thoughts on “The Vineyards of Champagne

  1. says:

    WWI France A beautiful story about a tragic time Juliet Blackwell has brilliantly told the story of the Champagne region of France through old letters Old letters that told the story of the women and children of France living underneath the champagne houses in miles and miles of caves Entire towns were moved underground homes, shops, bakeries, schools, animals, and of course the people The only time they came out was to pick the grapes I was completely fascinated by this part of history I did not previously know, and so was Rosalyn Rosalyn meets Emma on a plane from San Francisco to Paris Emma is Australian and traveling to the region to search for letters and further piece together the story of one of her relatives who was in France during WWI Rosalyn has recently suffered a loss and is headed reluctantly to France for her work as a wine rep When Emma offers her an opportunity to help with the researching and translating of these letters, Rosalyn is very tempted What follows is a beautiful story about friendship, forgiveness, acceptance, Romance, history, Mystery, second chances, and love This was a contemporary story with history woven in through these letters I think this would be a great book for someone new to historical fiction, but it will also resonate with the historical fiction lover Rosalyn is a sympathetic character and I loved how much her character grew throughout the story I loved The friendships she made and how she learned to trust and open her heart again The descriptive writing really gave me an authentic feel for France I have to say I love the fact that the French people embrace the carbs, I was craving bread throughout this entire book A lovely story that taught me something I did not previously no.This book in emojis Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book All opinions are my own.


  2. says:

    Rosalyn works for a vineyard in Napa, California, and is told she has to go to Champagne, France Who wouldn t want to go to Champagne, France wellRosalyn isn t too excited about going.On her flight over, Rosalyn meets Emma who has found letters from a soldier and a woman that corresponded during the war She asked Rosalyn to help her put all the letters together and to make some sense out of them, but Rosalyn declines the offer She said she has to do what her employer asked her to do.When Rosalyn finds one of the letters in her bag that Emma must have not picked up after they all fell to the floor, she becomes interested in the correspondence as she translates the letters through all the grime and worn out and unable to be translated words.Rosalyn wishes she would have told Emma she would help her She could do that if she gets organized and finds the business card Emma had given her.Translating these letters would be much interesting than going from one local wine producer to the next trying to drum up business.I tend to agree with Rosalyn.I would prefer dealing with the letters to uncover the past than dealing with wine makers I always enjoy books that have the characters finding items from the past that uncover secrets and a past life.Readers get a marvelous glimpse of France s quaint, cozy homes, the warmth of the French people, and the history of Champagne and how its citizens coped during the war.If you love champagne, history lessons, learning about wine making in France, unraveling secrets, reading old letters, exploring old houses, meeting marvelous characters, and being treated to a terrific story line, do not miss reading THE VINEYARDS OF CHAMPAGNE.Juliet Blackwell has given us another pull you in read.THE VINEYARDS OF CHAMPAGNE will have you falling in love with the characters and the Champagne Region of France, and have you looking at how you need to focus on making yourself happy 5 5This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


  3. says:

    I have enjoyed two of the author s paranormal series Haunted Home Renovation and Witchcraft , so I wasn t sure what to expect with her new novel It was totally different, but I was not disappointed Rosalyn, a wine sales rep, has been sent to the Champagne region of France to get some new clients She meets an interesting Aussie woman on the plane, and gets involved with translating some letters from World War I Apparently some older women, called marraines de guerre, wrote to the French soldiers in the trenches to help morale The particular marraine, Doris, was from Australia I loved the fact that the chapters alternated between the past and the present. The love story of Lucie and Emile during the war captivates Rosalyn who has a lot of personal baggage herself , Blondine a French woman working for the winery , and Emma the Australian woman who started the research project , who has secrets of her own The author has done considerable research into champagne, both the region and the beverage, and the terrible suffering experienced there during the Great War Highly recommended Thanks to Berkley and Netgalley for the ARC.


  4. says:

    The prologue begins in 1916 with a group of people living in caves below a champagne house in Reims France The story gripped me immediately and I was desperate to know how these people came to live in the caves and what eventually happened to them The story switches to the modern day with an interesting assortment of characters trying to track down these very answers I eagerly followed along with them as they uncovered the truth of these characters, primarily through letters written between a French WWI soldier and a wealthy Australian widow acting as a marraines de guerre or godmother, writing to a soldier at the front to keep his spirits up I liked the mystery of the story, along with the bit of romance thrown in I also learned quite a bit about the production of champagne and who doesn t want to know about champagne I thoroughly enjoyed this story and recommend it.


  5. says:

    SPOILERS Struggling with the grief of her husband s death, and all of the after effects to her financial and personal life after he died, Rosalyn s character fluctuates between an immense feeling of loss and a touch of hatred, which is incredibly confusing as a reader About halfway through the book, I caught myself thinking, Wait a minute so does she think her marriage was a fairy tale, or does she resent him Needless to say, I was happy when her character has a moment of clarity with her mentor, Emma, who explains to her that it s OK to feel BOTH While this conversation was desperately needed, I think the timing of the conversation should ve been a little earlier, and it certainly didn t give Rosalyn enough time to mentally recover, in my opinion, to start the relationship she did The last few chapters felt like they were wrapped in a bow, perfectly tied with a string, and as a reader, I caught myself trying to open my present without ruining the wrapping paper, which is interesting, considering that I predicted EXACTLY what would happen to each character within minutes of their introductions I haven t quite decided if it s a good thing that I had the level of delicacy with the characters as I finished the novel or not.I left feeling like Rosalyn s character didn t mature the way I expected her to, and as she matured and brought some color back to her life, she became a little boring Her self reflection, memories, and passion for the knowledge of what happened s in the letters lost its spark and as she developed her strength, I felt the author became engrossed in Rosalyn than with shaping her character into the history of the letters The letters, I thought, became sort of an afterthought The history and research demonstrated in the book went above and beyond my expectations The author does an incredible job of seamlessly weaving historical elements within her tale This, in my opinion, is what gave the book a 4 rather than 3 star rating This was my first novel by Blackwell, and I enjoyed her writing enough that I would go back and read other novels she s published One of the things I m most excited about is that I leave on Friday for a trip overseas, and coincidentally, will be driving through the very regions of France in which this book is set I m excited to explore, and am hoping to catch a tour of the caves that Lucie lived in.


  6. says:

    Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e galley for honest review.While I ve only spent a few days in the Champagne region of France, this book did a fantastic job taking me back and expanding on what I had experienced and seen The contemporary story in this book followed Rosalyn, a young widow struggling to move forward, as she travels to France for work and is swept up in the search for historical information along the way The other part of the story tells about the lives of people in the region during World War I the devastation of their towns, living in the champagne caves, the loss of life and horrors of living through war Though melancholy at times, this story was a lovely testament to the region and to the wine.


  7. says:

    I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway.When I began this book I thought it would be another serious historical fiction that played out like a history lesson involving the Champagne Region and what happened during World War I and beyond While I would have enjoyed that story, I was surprised and delighted to find that these characters set in modern day, were looking back through history with the help of letters from the time I loved the development of each character and their differing personalities Their journey to find out what happened to Lucie and Emile was captivating I learned so much about what the soldier, civilians, and region went through during this time It made we want to explore the caves where these people set up whole communities and lived their lives while war was being battled on their doorstep I couldn t put this one down


  8. says:

    I ve read most of Juliet Blackwell s mysteries, and all of her novels However, The Vineyards of Champagne, a story of grief and love, history and vineyards, is a book with a remarkable, moving voice Blackwell has dug into her own heart to reveal a painful story of loss and resilience.In 1914, a wealthy Australian widow, Doris Whittaker, writes her first letter to a young solder from Reims, France She and Emile Paul Legrand correspond as he tells his marraine de guerre, his war godmother , the story of the ugly, brutal life in the trenches during World War I.In 1916, a young woman named Lucie Marechal tells of the shelling of Reims by the Germans By day, women, and children, the elderly and infirm hide in the caves under the Champagne region of France There they shelter, have school, tend the sick and injured, drink champagne Lucie s story is one of a region s resilience as the women still work to bring in the grapes, to make a Victory Vintage in the hopes that each year will mean the end of the war On a flight from California to France, Rosalyn Acosta, a widow and wine rep, meets an Australian, Emma Kinsley Emma has a broken leg, so she needs help when she drops an armload of papers all over the plane They re letters between Emma s great grandmother, Doris Whittaker, and a French soldier from Reims Emma s on her way to Reims to check on her vineyards, but also to search for additional letters and the answer to a mystery What happened to Emile Paul Legrand Rosalyn is struggling with grief over the death of her husband, a grief that has left her bereft and struggling to go on with her life But, her boss pushed her to go to France, to represent their small company in the Champagne region She has little interest in work But, while Emma sleeps on the flight, Rosalyn finds the letters distract her.Rosalyn can t sleep when she arrives in Reims, but she s had trouble sleeping ever since Dash died She remembers her early encounters with him, their life together, and his promise they would always have laughter But, for her, the laughter died when he did And, her vivid world turned colorless But, staying in Reims, learning the history of the Champagne region, and the widows who kept the industry alive, brings her to life a little It s the research into those letters, though, that sparks something in her She wants to know how the people in those letters found the strength to continue to live Blackwell s The Vineyards of Champagne really needs to be read to come alive A summary does not do justice to the people in the book, the living ones or the ones from the letters of history It doesn t do justice to Rosalyn s grief, her Grief brain , her feelings of loneliness when she s with people, her need to be alone And, a summary can t do justice to the emotion in this book, the feelings of loss, of struggle Or, the grief that makes one understand the tragedy of war If people knew what it felt like to lose a loved one, if they truly understood the agony, the unfathomable waste of a life cut short, they wouldn t be able to support the war It would be, quite simple, unbearable One foot in front of another Read The Vineyards of Champagne for a moving story of loss, the loss of an entire generation to war and an entirely different personal loss But, somewhere in that beautifully written story of grief and loss, there s also a glimpse of hope, and a story of resilience There s a voice with a broken heart in this book But, it s a voice moving ahead One foot in front of another.


  9. says:

    Rosalyn is still grieving the death of her husband But, her job and her boss, whom she owes many favors, is requiring her to travel to Champagne, France As a wine seller, she is going to try to sign some champagnes to their Napa Valley winery While on the flight, she meets Emma Emma is traveling to Champagne to do research on WWI Emma has letters that went back and forth from the trenches of the war to the caves of Champagne During the war, people fled to the caves There were whole villages living in the tunnels and caves underneath the vineyards There were schools and businesses, and it was the only way people survived during the war Rosalyn, while meeting with winery owners, finds herself pulled into the stories of Emile and Lucie and their letters.This story is told mainly in the present day with letters from Emile sprinkled throughout There are a few chapters told from Lucie s perspective as well The story moves through the present as Rosalyn, Emma, and their friends connect the stories in the letters and learn about the fate of Emile and Lucie.I had a difficult time reading about the caves and the people living in them and even visiting them during the present day With 116 steps down, they were deep underground, especially if they kept the villagers safe while their homes were being bombed during the war As someone who gets claustrophobic, I had to keep reminding myself to take deep breaths during these parts of the book The amazing thing is that these caves were real and the book is based on real events during WWI in Champagne, France It is unimaginable to me how hundreds of people lived underground for months and years going days without seeing any light of day.Blackwell incorporates the French language into the story which makes the characters and the setting very authentic Her descriptions of places and food and the bubbly champagne make me want to visit there immediately Her characters have many layers and each is dealing with something difficult, some just secretly than others.Blackwell handles Rosalyn s grief well, not shying away from bold feelings or loneliness, despair, or fear of the future Each character had a unique voice and felt authentic and true to their story Nothing felt fluffy or trite to me in this book.One reason I love reading historical fiction is that I usually learn some truth from history that I didn t know before That is the case with this novel and I appreciate Blackwell sharing this WWI story, the caves, and the unique vineyards and style of growing grapes to make champagne I will definitely be curious about the labels the next time I have a bottle of champagne.There is much loss in this novel, but there is also hope The people of Champagne had to endure months of war in the caves and they were a hearty people to persevere Rosalyn was enduring months and years of grief and anger and loss, but she also needed to persevere to find joy in her life The past and the present stories flowed well and as a reader, I longed for the stories of the past as much a Rosalyn longed to find the answers.Fans of historical fiction, dual time period stories, and war settings will enjoy this novel For information as well as a Book Club Kit including facts about drinking champagne, a conversation with the author, a playlist, and discussion questions, check out the author s website.


  10. says:

    If I don t get my Christmas cookies baked this year 2019 , it s Juliette Blackwell s fault She has written another compelling novel that had to be read as opposed to baking.The story takes place in, and below, in France s Champagne region I first learned about the numerous cave systems that run throughout the area when I read Kristin Harmel s The Winemaker s Wife Fascinating reading.This story has one of my favorite storytelling devices dualing timelines The present day starts off in California s Napa Valley Recently widowed Rosalyn Acosta, a wine rep for Small Fortune Wines, is begin sent to Reims, France, to call on the smaller growers there in hopes of gaining the rights to represent them in the States There are only two drawbacks to this assignment First, Rosalyn doesn t want to go to France, Paris in particular It was where she and her late husband, Dash, honeymooned Second, Rosalyn abhors champagne.On the flight to Paris, Rosalyn lives every long distance flyer s nightmare A chatty seatmate in first class Turns out that the seatmate, Emma, is also headed to Reims With her she has letters from Emile Legrand, that date to World War I The letters are are between Emile and Lucie, a childhood friend,and Doris, Emile s marraine de guerre, or war godmother Women who wrote to the soldier s that didn t have no one back home Emma knows that to get the complete story, she must find other letters Letters that have been sitting in attics, backs of closets, in tiny museums for decades That is her quest and it s clear early in the novel, that Emma pretty much well gets what she wants.As Rosalyn is reluntanctly brought into Emma s quest, she becomes fascinated with how the people of the Champagne moved into the cave system in order to avoid the German bombs that fell incessantly They had schools, shops, resturants, everything that was accessible above ground.So now Rosalyn has two goals while she is there Land some new accounts and help Emma translate the letters.I enjoyed reading what life was like in the caves It sounds rather romantic, but the facts lead to a different conclusion I really enjoyed this novel and The Vineyards of Champagne receives 6 out of 5 stars in Julie s world.


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