Elizabeth Knox's fifth book, her first to be published in the UK, plays out its huge themes in a small Burgundian village at the time of Napoleon. A novel of forbidden love, wine and immortality, it yields up its secrets--beautiful, tragic and horrifying--one by one, so they're as unexpected as the angel Sobran Jodeau, the young vintner, encounters in his vineyard one night in 1808. Xas is breathtakingly beautiful, has huge expressive white wings, leather trousers and smells softly of snow. He is a keen gardener, and also profoundly curious about mortals, how they feel, how they live, how they make their choices. They talk, and Xas persuades Jodeau to meet him--same time, same place--every year.
Jodeau marries, fathers children, and continues--bar a couple of years when he's off fighting, whoring and trying to keep his best friend alive on the Russian front--to meet with Xas. Their friendship deepens. Jodeau's wine improves, and the joys and troubles of village life wash around him. But this strange relationship between man and angel is inherently unstable, and following the death of Jodeau's beloved younger daughter, it veers off in a direction neither had anticipated. And then Xas tells Jodeau something that drives the vintner almost beyond madness. --Lisa Gee
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is a gorgeous novel: as fine, rich, satiny and unpredictable as the vintages that it describes" (The Times
"Ms Knox's philosophical scheme defies brief summary: like a witty, post-modern Milton, she rewrites the Christian myth and the whole cosmology of "Paradise Lost"" (Economist
"A beautifully written exploration of the inexplicable, into which is woven an all-too-human chronicle of burning desire, violence, murderousness, bitter jealousy, curiosity, sexual deviations, shame and a fidelity of a sort" (The Times
"Knox comprehends the irredeemable sadness of loss and, more than any writer I have read for years, manages to touch the heart by paring sophistry and digression from the essential cores of her characters. Beautifully written, The Vintner's Luck
possesses a complex bouquet of conceits and ideas but it is the simplicity of Elizabeth Knox's writing that in the end draws out the savour of human experience and compassion" (Independent on Sunday
"Angelic writing and inspired structure" (Guardian
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