Friday, May 5, 2017

Eight Hundred Grapes Review

Title:  Eight Hundred Grapes
Author:  Laura Dave
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Release Date:  June 2, 2015
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Poignant 's

My Review is of the audiobook narrated by Joy Osmanski

What if your beloved fiancé, he of the crinkly smile and the irresistible British accent, had kept a life-changing secret from you? And what if, just a week before your dream wedding, you discovered it?

When these questions become realities for bride-to-be Georgia Ford, she does the only thing that seems to make sense. She runs. She hops in her car and drives through the night, from Los Angeles to Sonoma, to her safe haven, to her messy and loving family, and their acclaimed family winery. Georgia craves the company of those who know her best, and whom she truly knows. And, on the eve of the harvest, Georgia knows she’ll find solace—and distraction—in familiar rituals. But when Georgia arrives home, nothing is at all familiar. Her parents, her brothers, the family business, are all unrecognizable. It seems her fiancé isn’t the only one who’s been keeping secrets. And, much to Georgia’s dismay, it seems likely that this harvest may be the family’s last.

Georgia Ford is in the middle of her final wedding dress fitting when she learns her fiancé hasn’t been truthful with her.  Overwhelmed by the enormity of the secret he’s kept, she runs (in her wedding dress) for the sanctuary of a familiar safe haven – her childhood home.  However, what she soon discovers is that her family too is changing and the childhood home she thought would always be there may soon be gone.  As Georgia’s life spirals out of control, she struggles to make sense of it all and “fix” things as she's always done.  Her life and her family are falling apart right before her eyes, her foundation crumbling to pieces.  What she’ll learn by the time the dust settles is how to know when to hold on and when to let go.

Through a series of flashbacks, readers journey back to the time Georgia’s parents met, fell in love, and purchased the original ten acres to start The Last Straw vineyard - an idyllic, beautiful home rich in family memories, laughter, love and wine – a place where Georgia and her two brothers grew up with a family she believed would always be together and waiting for her to come home.  As the story unfolds, readers are privy to the many sacrifices made by these family members as they worked side by side to build a now world famous vineyard.  What we learn along the way is that all is not as perfect as it seems . . . all not as happy as they appeared - and it shakes Georgia to her very core.  Georgia’s parents have made a major decision, and now Georgia must do the same as her life comes full circle.  One thing she knows to be true – You don’t give up on family.  Not without trying to put it back together again.

Eight Hundred Grapes is a poignant, heart-touching story of life, love, family, and knowing when to hold on and when to let go.  While the pace is a little slow, my attention was held captive by the depth of the characters and their relationship development as they all struggle to deal with changes in their lives.  The setting of the vineyard in Sonoma was so beautifully depicted that it took on the life of a character in and of itself.  Life is all about choices, and there are life-altering choices made by all in this story.  Choices that ultimately affect the lives of others.  I connected with each of these characters and didn’t want to let them go at the end.  A Must Read!
My Rating:  4 Poignant 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

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