'A thoroughly entertaining romance.' Daily Post 1989
For Laure Frémont it is the end of a fairy story, the moment of 'happy ever after'. In the summer of 1866 she has married the man of her dreams, Philippe Naillac, owner of the Château de Casseuil with its famous vineyards. Soon, she is as passionate about the vineyard as he is. A lifetime of unbroken happiness lies before them - or so she believes.
But there is to be no 'happy ever after'. All too soon the clouds gather over her new life. There is Philippe's redoubtable mother, who clearly has no intention of relinquishing control over the household to her daughter-in-law. There is the new disease from America that threatens the vineyards of France, and Casseuil's in particular. And there are the looming financial difficulties that Laure does not see until - too late - a night of horror forces them on her consciousness.
Plunged into grief and heartache, she finds herself struggling alone to ensure the survival of the place she has come to love, along with her own survival and that of her daughter, Mathilde. Faced with poverty, isolation and the hostility of a male-dominated world, Laure sets out with ruthlessness and skill to restore the vineyard to its former greatness, at terrible cost to her own hopes of happiness. She - and Casseuil - survive war, rebellion and social unrest, until a devastating global conflict in a new century threatens to destroy for ever all that she has worked for.