Author: Ann Mah
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A fantastic story that is not easily put down until it is finished!
Kate has set her life to achieve one goal: become a master of wine. Given three opportunities to pass the exam, she has already failed twice. Now she is more focused than ever, but seems to be continually outfoxed by French wine, which happens to be her native homeland even though she hasn’t been there in years. As the head sommelier at a local San Francisco restaurant, there isn’t as much time as she would hope to dedicate to studying. But when the restaurant unexpectedly closes its doors, Kate suddenly has time on her hands. At her mentor’s urging, she reaches out to her cousin in France to see if it would be ok to come for a visit. As it is time for the grape harvest, he happily agrees and looks forward to seeing her soon.
Being back in France brings back difficult memories. She and her cousin’s wife were college friends that visited France during a semester abroad. One thing led to another and her friend stayed behind while she returned home. Now she is helping clean out the family cellars under the house. While much of it is junk that has been stored throughout the years, she stumbles upon some photographs in a trunk of a young woman she has never heard about but bears a striking resemblance to herself. As she begins to pry into the family history, her uncle shuts down the investigation at every turn. One day, she discovers a hidden cellar behind a false wall that contains numerous bottles of rare wine. But will this discovery open a door that can never be closed?
This book taught me more about rare wine that I had thought possible. I had no idea all the different requirements for storing, handling, and more that must be taken into account. However, this wasn’t the most interesting part of the story. That was the time slip portion set back in occupied France during World War II. I love these stories and all that it brings out historically. There is always more to learn and Mah did a great job on researching this topic.
The character development was spot on as well. Kate was instantly likable and felt like a close friend, even though she tends to shut people out. I enjoyed getting to know her better and was really pulling for her relationship to blossom. All the supporting characters fleshed out great as well. Nothing felt forced and even though there were some antagonists, it played out like a great story.
There is some very mild language throughout the book, but nothing that would take away from the story. I recommend this book to people who love time-slip novels concerning World War II and those that just enjoy a great story.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.