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Broke the Grape's Joy Paperback – 29 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: FeedaRead.com (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781762074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781762073
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,626,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Hilyer, author of the award-winning wine travel guide French Vineyards, lives and works in France. He and his wife own a restaurant in Normandy.

In praise of French Vineyards...

"a wonderful book, full of information and enchantment" Heimburger's European Traveller

"a vicarious travel adventure" Jancis Robinson OBE, Master of Wine

"enticing and indispensable" Jonathan Ray, wines editor, Daily Telegraph

"recommendations from all the French wine regions" Jim Budd, independent wine journalist and chairman of The Circle of Wine Writers

In praise of Broke the Grape's Joy...

"a real page turner of a story full of teasing clues and cliff-hanging suspense...a triumph of a little book, immensely readable and with the added interest of its back-story for the wine buff. Highly recommended." Tom Cannavan, wine journalist

"What a delighful, heartwarming novel it is. I thoroughly enjoyed it." Peter May, Wines Editor, BellaOnline

"full-bodied, spicy with fascinating and fruity overtones." John Walker, Author of The Jagermeister's Apprentice

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ElaineG TOP 100 REVIEWER on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Set in Saint Emilion on the Fontloube vineyard this is the story of Jean Valeix, a widow who at the start of the book is struggling to maintain the vineyard that has been left to her following the deaths of her husband and father in law. Her life is changed when she meets and falls in love with Andrew - a delightful Scot running away from real life after his divorce. However, as with all good love stories, the going is not as smooth as expected.

There is a wonderful cast of people - including Aimee, the gorgeous apprentice she hires; Archie, the autistic son of Andrew and Wendy, a visitor to the area who soon becomes a firm friend. Not forgetting Turk the Jack Russell who becomes her loyal follower! Not all of the people in the book can be trusted however and Jean will soon find herself rocked to the core by a series of betrayals.

An extremely well written book which is highly addictive; a story so well written it seems to cross genres completely, being part travelogue, part love story, part thriller. The story unfolds very gently and on the surface is very light, almost like "A Year in Provence" type of read, but underneath there is always something sinister just bubbling away ready to explode. There are some very sad, moving moments in the book and also some very uplifting ones as well, together with a good dash of danger in the climax.

A very enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SALLY KATHERINE BRACHER on 3 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've camped a couple of times in Saint-Emilion so I was attracted to this book, and I enjoyed the references to that pretty village in the south of France.
It's about widow Jean, known as Jeanne who runs a winery inherited from her late husband and father-in-law. One day she finds Scotsman Andrew Maconie in his camper van on her land and her life changes. Soon the beautiful Aimée appears and things get complicated.
I'm not going to tell the story; it's a good one and I recommend that you read it. There's a lot of very high-class eating and drinking in it, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Hague on 25 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jean Valeix's adult life has been marked by tragedy. At 43 she is the chatelaine of a minor St Emillion vineyard, mired in debt and struggling on alone. She then meets 50+ Andrew in his camper-van who claims he is a poet but turns out to be a dab hand at helping in the vineyard in return for allowing him to camp in the vineyard grounds.

Then Aimée appears of the blue. Aimée, ostensibly a student, who is taken on as part of a work placement programme. Jean's life has taken a turn for the better at last. She has fallen in love with Andrew, and has some good help with the vines. We hear about the life-cycle of wine-making - pruning and training the vines, weeding, tasting, mixing - as an ongoing theme of continuity as the turbulent lives of the main characters start causing havoc.

Jean is a determined woman however, and will not be cowed by betrayal, or not for long anyway. She has friends - the super chef Stéphane and his kind wife, Wendy the indomitable retired academic, two lads from her husband's family and Andrew's dog, Turk.

Despite the somewhat dark atmosphere of parts of this book, it is in fact a celebration of life and love, of fine wine and food, good friends, and the healing nature of hard work.

It's beautifully written, highly evocative, well-informed and researched. The descriptions of the vineyard and ageing chateau suggest a place of timelessness in which Jean is a temporary guardian. She understands this and is determined to maintain her place as a privilege in memory of her husband's family.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shell on 31 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book I selected thinking it was going to be a really good thriller. It was so different from what I expected, but one thing I will say is that I couldn't put it down. I have travelled many times to this region of France, so knew the area quite well. I found the book a beautiful story with such a calming effect. On one hand I wanted to get it finished to see what happened, but on the other hand I didn't want it to finish. I felt that I was part of the story, that I was actually there while events happened. Loved it. Would recommend anyone to read it. Will certainly look for more books by this author
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Vincent-Northam on 13 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story takes place in the French village of Saint-Emilion - the main protagonist, Jeanne Valeix, being a winemaker somewhat down on her luck. When Scotsman Andrew happens along, things seem to be coming together at last but then she employs a beautiful young girl and everything turns on its head.

There are so many facets to this story: love, intrigue, murder. As a backdrop to all of this, the author gives us a wonderful sense of place and a knowledgeable insight into viticulture and oenology. Sad at times and amusing at others, this is a satisfying tale with well-portrayed characters.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Denise on 2 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish - hard to put down!! Well researched regarding the technicailties of winemaking so even if you don't have much of an understanding of oenology it was simply explained. The story flowed effortlessly and captured the imagination. Some of the challenges faced by the characters were dealt with sympathetically. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that I live in France and know all the places to which Patrick referred. Looking forward to the next fiction book!!!
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