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Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean - Paul Malaval

I loved the cover before I read the blurb. The background was interesting. Bordeaux - wine country and wine making. 

Two cousins David and Gaspard share a deep love for the history and making of wine. They both want to break away from their over bearing and claustrophobic families and make a new start. They do this by investing in a wine yard and in making a new wine which despite all odds is a great hit. The period is just before WWI and then the setting moves into the background of this War and France during the war.

The two cousins are short of money and enter into an agreement with a wealthy engineer but it also causes them to give up on some of their ideals of what a good wine is and they have to forego quality for both quantity and profits. 

With the onset of the war, they also have to think of alternative markets - the lucrative world of America and beyond beckons. With a touch of romance both homespun in the marriage of one and in the lifelong love affair of one for someone who is married and out of reach the love story adds a softer touch to a story which is essentially a family drama with wine making as its main theme.

For anyone who enjoys anything French, this is a book which will appeal.  Apart from the wine and Bordeaux, the pragmatic view of the French in all things comes through in this book. Very educative reading!

Sent to me via Netgalley courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media.