For readers of Lilac Girls and The Lost Girls of Paris comes a captivating novel of resilience, as three generations of women battle to save their family’s vineyard during WWII.
Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree is taking her family’s future into her hands. While she should be preparing for a lavish party to celebrate two centuries of champagne making, she secretly hides Chateau Fouché-Leblanc’s most precious vintages behind a fake wall in the cellar in preparation for the looming war. But when she joins the resistance, the coveted champagne isn’t the most dangerous secret her cellar must conceal…
A former Parisian socialite, Gabrielle’s mother, Hélène, lost her husband to another war. Now her home has been requisitioned by the Germans, who pillage vineyards to satisfy the Third Reich’s thirst for the finest champagne. There’s even more at stake than Hélène dares admit. She has kept her heritage a secret…and no one is safe in Nazi-occupied France.
Josephine, the family matriarch, watches as her beloved vineyard faces its most difficult harvest yet. As her daughter-in-law and granddaughters contend with the enemies and unexpected allies in their midst, Josephine’s deep faith leads to her own path of resistance.
Across years and continents, the Leblanc women will draw on their courage and wits, determined against all odds to preserve their lives, their freedom and their legacy…
I don't know why I always think these books will be different. No tears. No heartache. I have no idea why I always think things will be ok. I mean it's history. These things really happened. Though this is a work of fiction it is a part of history. It could have happened. Actually it did happen. It may have happened to a family very much like the one in this story. In France during WWII. All the laughter, tears, sadness. All the things that happened during this awful time period. It did happen. I'm fairly certain that the people who owned these wineries and champagne houses were big targets for the Nazis. I'm sure those awful, mean, cruel, people targeted them and stole more than just their wines. Of course they did. It's history. Let us never ever forget. Let us never ever take our freedoms for granted. I happened and god forbid it ever happen again. But it could....
This is the story of a family. A family who love each other dearly. Three women and a teenage girl live in this story. They make champagne. They make wine. They grow grapes too for this purpose and work hard. At least the three older women do. They are all three widows who lost the loves of their lives early in their marriages. Each had a good marriage filled with lots of love and happiness. But it was cut short. Then the war happened. The second world war. The one that would change their lives forever.
Josephine is the the grandmother and mother in law. She is the eldest and the head of the family. She has loved this place her entire life. But she is also getting tired. She wants to join her husband. But it's not time yet. She has work to do. She has a family who needs her. Josephine is such a wonderful woman. She's truly strong even in her advanced age. Her memory is not quite as sharp as it was. But she is also very clever. Never under estimate her.
Helene is the daughter in law of Josephine and mother to Gabrielle and Paulette. She's very well respected and loved in her family. She's a force also. A strong woman who will do anything to protect her children. What she does and goes through is proof that she is not selfish. She loves this life and home. She loves all the women here. She fights to protect them.
Gabrielle is the one I really liked best of all. She is a fighter just like her mother and grandmother. She loves the villa with everything she has. She works very hard to keep the champagne going. Her whole life is geared toward making it better than before. Each year should be better. A very hard working woman who has pretty much sacrificed her life for her family and their livelihood.
Then we have Paulette. She's young and like most young ladies she is kind of selfish and dumb. Not dumb in a feeble way. Dumb in the silly things she does. The mistakes she makes. The trouble that seems to follow her. She has a good heart though. But I still didn't much like her. She got on my nerves.
The three main women are strong and forceful when they are pushed. They do what it takes to survive when the Nazi's invade their home. They each have a job to do. To keep each other safe and alive. This is the story of one family during the time France was invaded by the Nazis. How they endured the things that went on. Who did what they could to help. The big huge sacrifices they made just to keep each other safe. How far each was wiling to go to make sure they made it through this war.
This is a different kind of historical fiction than I usually read. It's excellent. It's centered around the LeBlanc family. The chateau where they grow grapes for making champagne. What happened to them. How they survived. It's part love story also. The love of family and friends. The love between two unlikely people also. It's a well rounded story that will give you many emotions. A whole lot of tears though. Be warned.
Thank you to #netgalley, #reneeryan, #harlequin for this ARC. This is my own true feelings about this book.
5/5 huge stars and a high recommendation. You don't want to miss this one.