Call Number
Material Type
Atlanta - E.J. Cottrell Memorial Library 1 FIC MAH New books
Bolivar Free Library 1 FIC MAH New books
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 FIC MAH Adult Fiction Book

On Order



"If you enjoyed Sarah's Key and Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, then this wonderful book by Ann Mah is for you." -- Tatiana de Rosnay

Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this page-turning novel about a woman who returns to her family's ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II.

To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examination. She's failed twice before; her third attempt will be her last chance. Suddenly finding herself without a job and with the test a few months away, she travels to Burgundy to spend the fall at the vineyard estate that has belonged to her family for generations. There she can bolster her shaky knowledge of Burgundian vintages and reconnect with her cousin Nico and his wife, Heather, who now oversee day-to-day management of the grapes. The one person Kate hopes to avoid is Jean-Luc, a talented young winemaker and her first love.

At the vineyard house, Kate is eager to help her cousin clean out the enormous basement that is filled with generations of discarded and forgotten belongings. Deep inside the cellar, behind a large armoire, she discovers a hidden room containing a cot, some Resistance pamphlets, and an enormous cache of valuable wine. Piqued by the secret space, Kate begins to dig into her family's history--a search that takes her back to the dark days of World War II and introduces her to a relative she never knew existed, a great-half aunt who was a teenager during the Nazi occupation.

As she learns more about her family, the line between resistance and collaboration blurs, driving Kate to find the answers to two crucial questions: Who, exactly, did her family aid during the difficult years of the war? And what happened to six valuable bottles of wine that seem to be missing from the cellar's collection?

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Mah, a food and travel writer, brings her love of food and knowledge of wine-making to bear in her second novel, a charismatic blend of mystery, romance, and post-WWII French history. Kate is studying for her third and final attempt at passing the famously difficult master of wine exam. She travels to Burgundy for a few weeks of study at the vineyard that has been in her family for generations but which she has long avoided. There she and her cousin's wife discover a huge cache of bottles of decades-old wine valuable vintages hidden by her grandfather during the Resistance. To their shock, they also find evidence that a never-mentioned great aunt may have been a Nazi sympathizer. Weaving in and out of these plot threads is Kate's reunion with Jean-Luc, her first love, whom she left 10 years earlier, unable to commit to life as a winemaker's wife in rural France. Mah's engaging story resonates on many levels and will appeal to readers who enjoy the family sagas of Kate Morton and Kristin Hannah.--Donovan, Deborah Copyright 2018 Booklist

Library Journal Review

With her mother having been born and raised on the family's vineyard in France, Kate has never wavered in her interest in wine. In an effort to improve her professional sommelier standing, she's begun seriously pursuing the elite Master of Wine credential. Returning to Burgundy to study, Kate comes across her great-aunt Helene's diary written during World War II and gains a new perspective on her family history. A core group of characters in the present and from the past are thoughtfully connected, increasing the impact of old secrets later resolved. The historical portion has the feel of an authentic personal narrative while still providing an understanding of rural French life during the war. Family drama and romantic relationships abound among the contemporary protagonists. Food and wine writer Mah's detailed descriptions of life on a family vineyard, how wine is produced, and how subtle differences in taste are discerned are so robust that a novice wine drinker may progress to aficionado status by the end. VERDICT The author's engaging second novel (after Kitchen Chinese) will delight Francophiles and readers who enjoy historical fiction with a twist by such authors as Lauren Willig or Christina Baker Kline. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Google Preview

Select a list
Make this your default list.
The following items were successfully added.
    There was an error while adding the following items. Please try again.