Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Drinking in Sonoma Wine Country With "Eight Hundred Grapes" by Laura Dave

Georgia Ford has always known Sonoma wine country as home- in her case home is where her family's vineyard is. So when she finds out her fiance Ben has been hiding a secret from her that is nothing short of explosive, she heads home without a second thought. With less than eight days until her wedding Georgia needs to find out of she can forgive Ben and move ahead with the wedding or if she needs to call it all off, and she believes that she can find those answers at home with her mom and dad and two brothers. It turns out that Ben is not the only one who has been hiding things. Arriving home Georgia discovers that everyone has their secrets and that some may be too major for them to forget about and just move on.

I've been excited about this book for quite some time. I've been a huge fan of Laura Dave's books since the beginning and I can never quite wait for her next release to come out. As many readers will understand, one of the worst parts about finishing a book that you've loved is knowing that the author won't have another book for you to devour for quite a while! That was how I felt after reading Eight Hundred Grapes. I loved it, I didn't want to put it down, and I especially didn't want it to end.

Eight Hundred Grapes was engaging from beginning to end for me. The plot was enticing and I really couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. The character development was second to none. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, and not just our main character, Georgia. I enjoyed getting to know Georgia's mom and dad, as well as her brothers. I especially loved that Laura Dave inserted a few well-placed flashbacks so that we understand Georgia's parents better, as well as the history of the family vineyard. Issues such as fidelity, sibling rivalry, and finding one's place in the world are raised and deftly dealt with.

My favorite part of the book, though, and the part that, for me, set Eight Hundred Grapes above many of the other books that I've read, was the unpredictability. As a fan of a certain type of book I have come to expect a certain kind of ending, and can often see the ending coming a mile away. That's okay with me, and I quite enjoy it, but every so often a book keeps me guessing and this one was one of them. Laura Dave didn't go with the typical happy ending, but instead went with the realistic happy ending. Everything didn't turn out exactly as planned, but everything turned out nonetheless.

Engaging, impossible to put down, and thoroughly readable, Eight Hundred Grapes has rocketed to the top of my "must-read" list for summer. My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy, and to BookSparks PR for inviting me to participate in the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015!

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