Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Review: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

From the back of the book: There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide....

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets….

I'll just come right out and say it. This was the best book I've read in a LONG time. I knew almost immediately that it would become my go-to book recommendation this summer, because I think it is very well written, and something that most people I know will really enjoy. In fact, this book was just released at the beginning of June and is already receiving tons of accolades. I can understand why. Despite the synopsis, this book really didn't feel particularly dramatic to me, and I think that's a credit to Laura Dave's talent as an author--to be able to make characters feel real, authentic, and nuanced without feeling trite or over-dramatic.

I think I expected Eight Hundred Grapes to be your standard chick-lit romance set in wine country. You know--the sort that will inevitably be made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. And while I think it's still quite likely that this book will be made into such a movie, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Eight Hundred Grapes was as much about family and wine as it was about romance. Laura Dave described the vineyards and the wine making process with such care that I was totally transported to Sonoma, and instantly wanted to tear out all the grass in our backyard and plant enough wine grapes for a small vineyard. Thankfully, Justin reminded me that we do, in fact, have wine grapes planted in our backyard, and that three plants is probably plenty for us at this moment in time. But, the point is that while Eight Hundred Grapes *is* light enough to be something that I'd read at the beach or next to the pool, it's not completely superficial chick lit either--there is substance and depth there as well, which I really enjoyed. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Eight Hundred Grapes, and recommend it highly. In fact, move it to the top of your "to be read" stack, right now. 

You can also read an excerpt of Eight Hundred Grapes here, and read my review of Laura Dave's book The First Husband here.

Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book for review through Net Galley. I did not receive any further compensation for this review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. You all should know by now that I couldn't lie about a book even if I wanted to :)

1 comment:

  1. Getting ready to start this one after trudging my way through a book that I couldn't wait to finish! Thanks for the recommendation! - Tressa (@rosonefamgram)


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