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The Winemaker Kindle Edition
"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
After four years working in the vineyard and barrel room of a vintner in Languedoc, Josep Alvarez has developed an appreciation of fine wine that he could never have imagined growing up on his father's farm in Catalonia, where grapes are grown to produce vinegar and wine that tastes like horse urine. When he learns that his father has died, Josep decides to return home for the first time since 1870. He discovers that his brother, Donat, wants to sell the farm. Josep buys it and settles in, content to own "a slice of Spain" and hoping to use the knowledge he acquired in France to revitalize the neglected vineyard. Climbing a hill on the property and discovering hundred year old Garnacha vines, he begins to wonder whether it might be possible to produce grapes suitable for something more palatable than vinegar.
After these scene-setting chapters, the novel backtracks to explain why Josep left Spain and how he struggled to make his way into the world. It then returns to the present as Josep pursues his new life as a winemaker. The last section completes a journey of self-discovery as Josep learns to embrace the pleasures of a simple life while resisting his neighbors' urges to be satisfied with its limitations.
While there is satisfying drama in the growing of grapes, Noah Gordon finds things for Josep to do that heighten the story's tension, from chasing a wild boar to the odd but dangerous sport of castell-building.Read more ›
The description mentions a political angle to the story which I was a little worried about, as I don't like political intrigues. Luckily, this was only a very small part of the book and served merely to give Josep a history that may come to find him later on in the story.
The story has this friendly, amiable feel similar to that in The Physician (which is one of those books that is eternally in my re-read loop). It reminded me to quite a large extend, in terms of general feel, of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani. That book starts off in Italy rather than Spain and takes place a little later (1910s rather than 1870s). Also, in Trigiani's book, the story moves to the big city, New York, and later small town America, while The Winemaker takes place mainly in Northern Spain, in a small village.
Even so, these are books about genuine, hardworking people, that struggle through adversity but that deserve a better life than they have. That makes them very satisfactory stories.
The Winemaker follows Josep through a few years of his life, trying to make a living as a vineyard owner. Starting off on his own on his family's vineyard with a debt to his brother, he gains more and more friends and business connections to help him fulfill his dream of successfully running the vineyard. No need to have a special interest in wines or vineyard to appreciate this book.
I'd give this 3Stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the true tradition of a Noah Gordon's novel. A wonderful, rich read.Published 4 days ago by Paule-Audrey MINKLEY
This was well written and really felt true to the times. It was easy to stay with the characters and feel their struggle to improve their existence. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ms. Robyne M. Tracy
Reminiscent of Pearl S. Buck's, "The Good Earth," only this story takes place in 19th century Spain, and the main character grows grapes. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
A wonderful story, well written.
I loved every minute of this book.
It gives great insight into winemaking
Looking forward to reading more of Noah Gordon
An interesting period in Spain and France through the eyes of a humble wine grower. Very authentic characters and settings.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
Originally titled La Bodega. Although not intended to be particularly exciting, The Winemaker is a pleasant pastoral story of primitive times in the 1850's in Catalonia, Spain. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Norma Meligonis
Enjoying wine as I do I thoroughly enjoyed reading about early struggles to raise, grow and develop wine in Spain using some of the country's history as background.Published 13 days ago by BJG