As promised on my Fridaybookshare post, here’s my review of Late Summer in the Vineyard by Jo Thomas.
Genre – Romance
Emmy Bridges has always looked out for others. Now it’s time to put down roots of her own.
Working for a wine-maker in France is the opportunity of a lifetime for Emmy. Even if she doesn’t know a thing about wine – beyond what’s on offer at the local supermarket.
There’s plenty to get to grips with in the rustic town of Petit Frère. Emmy’s new work friends need more than a little winning over. Then there’s her infuriatingly brash tutor, Isaac, and the enigmatic Madame Beaumont, tucked away in her vineyard of secrets.
But Emmy will soon realise that in life – just as in wine-making – the best things happen when you let go and trust your instincts. Particularly when there’s romance in the air…
This is the first (and only) book I’ve won in a Goodreads competition. I was sent a Marketing Proof by the publishers. Although sadly it doesn’t have this cover, I was still really pleased to be a winner.
This is a perfect story for escapism. I’m sure in the middle of November, we’re all dreaming of heading off to hot and sunny France. I’d love to visit the vineyards, it all sounds so idyllic.
I really like Emmy. She’s a genuinely nice person who wants to help everyone and puts their best interests above her own. This has meant she’s put her entire life on hold to look after her dad and younger sister. Her need to look out for others gets her into some very sticky situations.
I did find Emmy’s self doubt a little over the top, but it was completely believable. At times I could have shaken some sense into her and by the end it was gratifying to see her development.
It’s mainly told in first person, present tense from Emmy’s perspective. This style really helps to connect with Emmy and understand her thought processes. The situations she gets herself in become more plausible as well.
I found a part of the prologue annoying and improbable. If someone is telling you to get out their house or they’ll call the police, you don’t suggest a cup of tea (not when your a stranger and a debt collector at that!). It is a sort of comic moment, but it just stopped me believing in the story – thank goodness I carried on reading!
My only other issue would be the amount of simple errors that were present in this copy. As I received a marketing copy, I assume these have been spotted by a proof reader.
I enjoyed this book much, much more than I was expecting! I now have a new appreciation for wine, and desperately want to go and visit France. This book created a special feeling about the vineyards and the host of characters Emmy meets. I especially liked Madame Beaumont and her old horse, Henri. It’s a story that stays will you and I will miss reading it. I will definitely read more of Jo Thomas’ books when I want that feel good factor.
Rating 4.5 Stars
Recommend to: Romance readers who like to discover something a little different and want to be transported into another country.