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The Winemaker's Wife

Written by: Kristin Harmel
Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the “engrossing” (People) and “poignant” (Booklist) international best seller The Room on Rue Amélie comes a remarkable and moving story of love, danger, and betrayal: two women in France in the darkest days of World War II and another in present-day America on a quest to uncover the secret that connects them.

At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.

But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe - least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.

Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents - and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about - and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save.

In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job - and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive - and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network, The Winemaker’s Wife is an evocative and gorgeously wrought novel that examines how the choices we make in our darkest hours can profoundly change our lives - and how hope can come from the places we least expect.

©2019 Kristin Harmel (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible Audio

I’m an avid user of Audible. Thus far I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the voice work on the books I’ve selected. The Winemakers Wife, however, has the worst performance I’ve heard yet.
The woman in the role of Inés sounds like she is reading a children’s book. Her voice is so jarring that it distracts from the story. Very disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Story was Fantastic. Performance was mediocre.

I loved this story. as a fan of The Alice Network, this novel did not disappoint. What I did find disappointing where the performances. The voices sounded contrived and irritating. The German voices and the French voices sounded the same and when the narrators spoke in a Male voice it was almost laughable. I wish I would have just read the novel instead of audio.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane
  • 2019-08-20

The narration was like nails on a chalkboard!

The story was great but the narration was so awful, I kept having to put it down for a bit. One of the main characters sounds and behaves like a surly teenager - I was shocked when it turned out that she was supposed to be 41.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nancy
  • 2019-09-03

Mixed Feelings

The story line was good, but would have been so much better with a stronger female lead. Why do writers insist on making women stupid? I know no one who would have reacted as this dumb girl did. It is just not believable. I finished the book hoping to find out more about the main character, but just not much. Very disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah Centrella
  • 2019-11-25

Disappointing and predictable

I was disappointed by this book, the timelines were inconsistent in places and the story was too predictable and cliche. But what was most annoying was the narrators, the one who read the Celine character was unbearable, and the Olivia narrator wasn’t any better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Browyn Brough
  • 2019-09-06

Unexspected surprise

Im new to this author and enjoyed this end of summer treat. The book was filed with war love sacrifice and tragedy, ill not ruin the story for You but the last chapters pierced my heart and a few tears of joy and sorrow fell

1 person found this helpful

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  • paula wright
  • 2019-09-06

This story proves blood is not always thicker than water

What a great story. It tells of the cruelty of the nazis and how they devastated captured territory. It tells of foolish immature young adults and decisions they make can have far reaching consequences. Also the goodness of many people during the war and self sacrifice and courage two interwoven stories. Generations apart of love hate revenge redemption. A credit well worth it

1 person found this helpful

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  • grace m hough
  • 2019-09-05

fabulous

great characters. just when you think you know what's going on it takes a spin. kept me coming back to find out what happens next. Nice wrapped up ending but leaves some play for a 2nd book.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • readalot
  • 2019-08-27

More of a romance novel than historical fiction

If I were Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale) or Kate Quinn (The Alice Network), I'd be insulted that this book stands on the success of those fantastic novels and tries to put itself in the same category. This is nothing but a romance novel, and a weak one at that. I could only listen to half of it - 5 ½ hours of my life I can't get back. The narrating was so annoying - all 3 narrators were subpar - but perhaps its because the writing was so juvenile.

Seriously, the cover should have a shirtless man on the cover with a great chest like other cheesy romance novels do.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karen Antoni
  • 2020-01-22

review

The irratic behavior of Olivia's grandmother was not believable. This part of the book was poorly written. The narrators accent imitations were poor. If they can't be accurate, consistant and somewhat authentic....forget trying to imitate an accent!!

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  • Redhead
  • 2020-01-11

Five Stars across the board

What. A. Book. I can't believe how quickly I finished this - and it's because i couldn't put it down.

Story
I thought I had it all figured out. There is some great foreshadowing in this book that helps guide you into what's to come. However with 1 hour and 15 minutes left, you learn there's a twist. The moment I had it figured out everything made sense! This author is so good at evoking feelings for the characters. There are some characters you'll be fully annoyed by, some you admire, and others that make you curious.
I'm not a history buff (or even fan) but this was just enough story and just enough history to keep my attention. What an amazing story, well written, and sweet book.

The narrator
NAILED IT. The more books I listen to, the more picky I become about the narrator. A bad narrator can ruin a good book. This narrator was amazing. The voices she used to portray character, her accents, all of it. She did such a fantastic job with this book.

I recommend this book! What a great read to start off 2020.

  • Overall
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  • Ruth M. Penson
  • 2020-01-02

So convoluted!

If there was anything of value to listen to, the narrator spoiled it!
What a silly story!! Took forever to get to the point of it all!