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The Winemaker's Wife

Written by: Kristin Harmel
Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (218 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
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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.

5 people found this helpful

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Meh

This could have been so much more enjoyable to listen to had the narrator not used such awful voices for certain characters. The high- pitched whining of Inez was almost unbearable at times and the over-the-top French accents took away from being able to fall into the story as they were so distracting.

1 person found this helpful

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The winemaker's wife,<br />

I loved the story, it was a tragic love story woven around the second world war. I felt most sorry for Inez as her husband and friend betrayed her. She made some mistakes because of being hurt but always tried to do the right thing.

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The narration unconvincing, accents distracting<br /><br /><br />

I found the narration, sadly unconvincing. The attempted accents were a distraction from the story.


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Loved the story line

Although I loved the story line I found the narrators hard to listen to and thus it took away from the story.

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Great Story

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The performances/ accents were a little inconsistent, but the storyline captured and held my attention. At the beginning, Olivia and her grandmother seemed to be shallow and uninteresting - so I was surprised at the plot and developments as they were slowly revealed. It was an emotional journey.

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Narration of these complex female characters left

something amiss for me. I was hooked by the story and so continued despite the whiny voice being used for the female leads of Inez and Selena. They were both strong personas in the story. Their words/actions were indicative of reasons why 'bad' decisions were made or not. No need to have added a conceptualized helpless female voice as well. Ending was a little cheesy for me.

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Predictable

Not a bad book, but I found it to be very predictable and cliche at times.

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terrific story

Well drawn characters and an engaging story. The narration was fabulous. Fans if The Nightingale will love it.

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The Winemakers Wife

I enjoyed the story. The reading was a bit flat but the story itself made up for it.

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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.

8 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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  • Renee Strickland
  • 2020-03-03

Poor reading of unlikeable characters

The bizarre half-French and whiny American accents were jarring. If you have to endure this book, read it for yourself instead.

But I do not recommend the book. The plot is transparent, the characters are uniformly unlikeable, and the decision to switch between current day and WW2 every other chapter was forced. I drank a coupe of champagne at the end just to toast that I would never spend another moment on this book.

2 people found this helpful

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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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  • 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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  • Mary H.
  • 2020-06-25

Can't put it down (so to speak)!

Wonderful story! Sad and happy. Great historic references too! Kept me guessing! Tied up everything nicely!

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  • Peigi
  • 2020-06-24

Slow start - Great ending!<br />

Great characters - particularly Inez/Edith (ooops) and Celine; wonderful performances all 3 POVs!! Truly awesome WWII story!