Book Review – Eight Hundred Grapes

February 24, 2016 Reviews 4 ★★★

Book Review – Eight Hundred GrapesEight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date Published: June 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary Women, Literary, Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Rating: three-stars
Description: 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….

Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA TODAY), a “decadent storyteller” (Marie Claire), and “compulsively readable” (Woman’s Day). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, 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. In this breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You), Laura Dave “writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she's describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).


Lynnpic Lynn’s Review:

A book club selection + a shelf love book is a great combo. This means I can at least say I read one book off my shelf this month. Plus, a joint review!

The main premise here is a messy family story, more than a romance. Set on a bio-dynamic winery. Georgia has a crisis just a week before her wedding. So she runs home to the family vineyard, only to discover that her parents have sold it. And her brothers are fighting. But honestly, I was more interested in the wine-making information than the messy family dynamics. The tending of the vines, the harvesting of the grapes, the blending of the wines themselves. All more interesting to me than Georgia and her family drama.

I’m just not a fan of messy family drama. I wanted a romance. There were hints of romance between Georgia and Jacob, the man who bought the winery. Some sparks. But as they are both involved with other people, not enough romance for me. There are some hints of the history between Georgia’s parents. How her parents met when her father got into the wrong car. And again, not enough romance.

Overall, Eight Hundred Grapes was ok for me. Not anything to shout from the rooftops. But also not the worst book. I give it 3-stars. If you are interested in messy family dramas, check it out. Or just have a nice glass of wine instead. 
Julie Review Avatar Julie’s Review:

Yea, what Lynn said. The wine-making was very interesting. The way the area was described made me homesick for California. The plot itself? Well, predictable is a good way to describe it.

At her dress fitting Georgia spots her fiance walking past the window and learns a secret that her fiance has been keeping from her. She confronts him, freaks out, and runs home (well, technically she drives home, a 10-hour drive, but yea). There, she learns her parents have been keeping secrets too, and finds out about all kinds of family drama she had no idea was going on, since she was too busy being a big shot lawyer in LA and planning to move to London. And then there’s the guy buying her family vineyard, and he seems to always be there when Georgia gets herself in trouble and needs someone. See where this is going? Spoiler: you’re not wrong.

Georgia’s major flaw is she sticks her nose in everyone’s business and tries to fix things for everyone. But she runs from her own problems. I generally did like this book, it wasn’t amazing or anything, but interesting enough to read and chat about at a book club, while eating lasagna and drinking wine.

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4 Responses to “Book Review – Eight Hundred Grapes”

  1. Greg

    I guess I liked this one a bit more, although your points on Georgia I kinda have to agree with. The California setting and the winery stuff did work for me, and the family drama may have been a bit over the top at times, but I did like it. I was curious to see what decision she would make, and where the winery would end up LOL. Nice review!
    Greg recently posted…The 100 S3E5

  2. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    I read this one a while ago and I didn’t really care for Georgia. I completely agree that she ran from her own problems while focusing on everyone else’s. First, when she sees her fiancee with a child, she just runs away and doesn’t even stay to hear an explanation. Then she REFUSED to make a final decision about whether she wanted to marry him. She just let the wedding plans go on around her, despite the fact that she was unsure about whether to go through with it. She was so annoying. And yeah, way too much family drama. Crazy. Great review though.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

    • Lynn

      Thanks, Cynthia. And Georgia and her family made me glad that my family does not have that kind of drama!

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