Title: Late Summer in the Vineyard
Author: Jo Thomas
Series: – –
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Escape to France with LATE SUMMER IN THE VINEYARD – Jo Thomas’s irresistible follow-up to THE OYSTER CATCHER and THE OLIVE BRANCH. ‘A fabulous French feast of fun’ Milly Johnson
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…
Source: ARC from Headline Review via Amazon Vine
This is such a perfect summer read, rich with wine and warmth, dreams and a life-changing experience for Emmy. There’s also a sprinkling of romance, some unexpected friendships and plenty of je ne sais quoi.
Emmy’s life is stale and stagnated. Somewhere along the way she’s wound up in a dead end job that she’s too nice for, taking care of a father who has given up on life, struggling to pay the mortgage on a house that isn’t her own. Everything is becoming too much for her when an unexpected opportunity lands in her lap – twelve weeks in the south of France, learning how to sell wine. Who wouldn’t seize that chance with both hands? Even if Emmy has no idea how to keep holding on.
I really liked Emmy. She’s an ordinary woman, living a complicated but ordinary life. She’s nice, kind and more than a little overwhelmed. She’s just trying to do the right thing, even when it causes her more problems. She is the warm heart of this novel and I loved watching her change, grow and get stronger as the book progresses. This really is a life changing journey for her, though frequently not in the ways she might expect.
Emmy’s voyage of discovery is perfectly underlined by the stunning backdrop this is set against – French wine country. It breathes through the pages in a way that makes you feel as though you are there. From the intriguing locals to the wine itself, it’s a stunning setting that drew me in and left me reluctant to leave.
The pace is slow, and I’m still not sure why they needed to be out there for three months, but it somehow held my attention and kept me up late because I desperately wanted to see that everything would turn out as I had hoped. I was even sad when I saw the pages running out, because I knew I’d have to stop soon and I didn’t want to leave. The romance is rather subtle, though, and some things lined up a touch too perfectly, but I still found it enjoyable.
So if you’re looking for something gentle and enjoyable to get lost in this summer (or to provide memories of warmth in the depths of winter) give this a go. I’m glad that I did and will definitely be looking out for more from this author.
Late Summer in the Vineyard is Out Now!
Visit Jo Thomas for more details.