First, let me apologize for not writing in so long. I have had a crazy life the last few weeks, but I am back in full-swing. Without further ado, I give you my next book review.
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Worth the read: Absolutely, if you like wine, Northern California, cute books with an intellectual side, or you've ever had your heart broken
When I won this book from a Simon & Schuster giveaway, I couldn't have been more excited. I was excited because it was a book about a place close to home - Northern California's wine country. The locations in the book did not disappoint. I could always picture where the characters were in California - Sebastopol, Napa. Having grown up in Sacramento, I don't often find books that take place close to home, so, I was excited this one did. Maybe that creates a bit of a bias for why I like it so much, but I still think it's worth the read and I will explain why.
The book opens with quirky Georgia traveling from LA to her family's vineyard in Northern California. Georgia is a down-on-her-luck lawyer who readers will immediately fall in love with. Unfortunately, she's the only character I fell in love with. I found myself wanting to get to know the other characters more and I wanted more scenes (Dang it, Laura Dave, Write more next time!!). I liked a lot of the other characters, I just needed more of them! I also felt like some of the characters could have been focused on less to give us room to learn more about the other characters. I wanted to get to know Ben, Jacob, and Gerogia's Dad so much more than 250-ish pages would allow. I didn't necessarily care so much about Georgia's brothers, Margaret, or Georgia's lawyer friend. There could have been less of them (or more pages in the book) to focus more on that. But I could just be being selfish here.
The story deals with trials and tribulations of love at many different stages of relationships. anyone who has ever been in love, from the first falling to falling out of love, will relate to some part of the novel. It is more than just love stories between people, too, it is also a love story between a family and a vineyard.
The book also discusses the process of wine-making, which was fascinating, even to someone who can count on one hand the number of glasses of wine she has had this year. I like feel-good books that incorporate intellectual things, so, it was a win there.
Laura Dave's writing style was excellent for this type of novel. It blended dialogue and description. Georgia was the perfect person to have tell this story. My one complaint remains that Dave just needed to WRITE MORE.
Overall, I think people should do themselves a favor and read this book. No, it won't be the most profound thing you have ever read, but it's a feel good book with fantastic writing. Also, readers get to learn a little something and that something just happens to be wine.