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Zena Lawton "bookaholic" (Pays de Gex, France)

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The Ripening Sun: One Woman and the Creation of a Vineyard
The Ripening Sun: One Woman and the Creation of a Vineyard
by Patricia Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it, but lacked depth, 25 Sept. 2007
I live in France and I bought this book to see how this person's experience differed from my own. I enjoyed the book and agree that the woman is an inspiration to all in taking on a challenge and excelling at something new, but I did find several things about the book spoiled my overall enjoyment.

I found that there were too many descriptions of moving wine around vats with confusing connecting pipes! I found the descriptions of the complexities of wine making overall interesting - I had not realised it was so complicated - but there was a lot of repetition of these descriptions.

I found that there was a lack of depth in how she dealt with the emotional side of the breakdown of her marriage. Perhaps it was too difficult to write about, or she felt a certain moral obligation to her husband to be discreet. I actually feel that at the start of her second book she is more open about her feelings regarding the separation. At one point I actually realised that she had not mentioned the husband for pages and pages and then there is one short paragraph to say that they were getting divorced.

The final issue I have is in the number of people who are casually mentioned in the book with no real description or introduction. Perhaps it's me - but at times I was confused as to who was who!

I would recommend the book to see a personal account of the complexities and hard work involved in wine making, and to observe a picture of French life that is quite enviable.

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