Saturday, November 7, 2015
Two Short Book Reviews: Eight Hundred Grapes and Kitchens of the Great Midwest
There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…
Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.
But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.
Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…
Whew, this book was full of confused characters, not knowing what they wanted or wanting something they maybe couldn't have. It was a good read - a very balanced blend, if you will. Not too intense, yet not too light. The characters were interesting, the setting amazing (because who doesn't want to live at a winery?), and it was just complex enough to be unpredictable. This book is best when paired with a rich, flavorful red. And maybe some cheese.
When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.
I loved this book - all the way until the ending. Overall, it didn't affect my opinion of the book that much, but I am a person who wants a concrete cut and dried ending, one way or another. I don't like ambiguous endings, and I felt unsatisfied by this book's ending. Just a personal quirk, I guess. If you take away the ending though, this book was awesome, amazing, I loved it. Written from multiple viewpoints and skip-hops through time, the reader follows the story of Eva, whose life is anything but perfect. The different perspectives are woven together expertly to create a cohesive story line, like a well-planned meal, full of different flavors yet all complementing one another. This book was really very well done. (except that ending! but that's just me)