Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Widows of Champagne by Renee Ryan

Three generations of widowed women taking care of the vineyards of Chateau Fouche-Leblanc. 

Gabrielle is the youngest of the women and the most responsible for keeping the vineyard alive, but she knows the Germans have been occupying European countries and knows France won't be spared.

Gabrielle knows she must somehow keep the best champagne from falling into the hands of the Germans.  She builds a concealed wall to hide her best stock in hopes it will not be discovered.

Her mother, Helene, and her grandmother are concerned about the occupations, but they have another secret to keep.

Finding out the Germans had invaded France was bad enough, but when one arrives at the Chateau's door and demands to live there with the women is even worse.

We follow the women as they endure the German occupation of France and their home and struggle to save their champagne legacy.

Gabrielle was my favorite because of her resilience and efforts.

Helene was cool but calculating, and she was desperately trying to protect and save her family and her secret.

Josephine, the matriarch, was likable and tough, and I felt sorry for her because of her memory issues, but her diary is what helped protect her family since it told what she had seen and forgotten.

The fierceness of this family and the vineyard owners all over Reims to protect their vineyards, their champagne, and their country was very evident.

Fans of France during WWII, strong women, champagne and how it's made won't want to miss this marvelously written, pull-you-in story line.

Ms. Ryan's writing style is engaging and quickly captures your attention.

THE WIDOWS OF CHAMPAGNE is a beautiful read with true-to-life characters and marvelous descriptions of what the French people and these women endured and fought for.

A fantastic read as you feel the terror, the love, and the strength of each woman.

Be sure it is in your reading list.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley and a print by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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  1. DO NOT miss reading this book...LOVED IT!

    Thanks for stopping.

  2. Could not get this through Netgalley. It sounds brilliant.

    1. I'm sorry you couldn't get it.

      Thanks for your comment, Mystica.

  3. Going on my buy list. Great review, Elizabeth!

    1. Thanks, Mary.

      You will love it.

      Thanks for commenting.