Eight Hundred Grapes
A NoveleBook - 2015
When her wedding is cancelled after her fiancé reveals a shocking secret, Georgia Ford returns to her family's Sonoma vineyard where she, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, her brothers and everything familiar, discovers that her fiancé wasn't the only one keeping secrets. Reading-group guide available.
Simon and Schuster
Heralded as “impossible to put down” (Elle), and named a Best Book of the Summer by Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire, and Us Weekly, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect.
There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide… What if your beloved fiancé, he of the crinkly smile and irresistible British accent, had kept a life-changing secret from you? And what if, just a week before your dream wedding, you discovered it?
Georgia Ford, bride-to-be, hops in her car and drives through the night, from Los Angeles to Sonoma, to her safe haven: her family, and the acclaimed family winery. Georgia craves the company of those who know her best, and whom she truly knows. Better yet, it’s the eve of the last harvest—the best time of the growing season, and Georgia knows she’ll find solace—and distraction—in the 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…
Eight Hundred Grapes is a story about the messy realities of family, the strength (and weaknesses) of romantic love, and the importance of finding a place to call home. “This winning tale will both satisfy on a literary level and encourage oenophiles to pour themselves a glass of a recent vintage to enjoy while reading; it’s a tasty treat for wine lovers and teetotalers alike” (Publishers Weekly). You won’t be able to put this “addictive” (Us Weekly) novel down.
From the critics
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If ever a book was written to be turned into a movie, Eight Hundred Grapes is it. It’s got the setting (California’s Sonoma Valley), it’s got the subject (wine, appealing to the foodie in everyone), it’s got a runaway-bride heroine searching for herself (I see Rachel McAdams), a somewhat dysfunctional family, and both a hunky British suitor and an adorkable local match. And a few movie stars already in the mix. This is the next Under the Tuscan Sun, with slightly younger characters.
It starts when the runaway bride, Georgia, discovers an unfathomable secret about her fiancée, a week before their wedding and trans-Atlantic move to London. Shocked to the core, Georgia runs to the only place she can think of, her childhood home. But the shocks just keep coming – her brothers are feuding, her parents separated and the vineyard has been sold to a faceless corporation.
With her entire world upside-down, Georgia struggles to fix it, and makes things inevitably worse before they get better. Along the way the author takes readers back in time and into the lives of the other characters, drawing them with nearly as much depth. This makes it easy to see why Georgia cannot simply resolve everyone’s problems; everyone has their own private history, histories they have not necessarily shared with her completely.
And that is the way life is – complex, multi-layered, at times funny and at times cringeworthily messy. It all makes Eight Hundred Grapes a summery novel to savor (perhaps with a glass of California red).
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