Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel {Review}


Amazon Goodreads

Published: June 2, 2015 by Simon & Schuster

Goodreads Synopsis:

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA TODAY), a “decadent storyteller” (Marie Claire), and “compulsively readable” (Woman’s Day). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect.


My Review:

“You have to grow, mold, squish about eight hundred grapes to get just one bottle of wine. If that isn’t an argument to finish the bottle, I don’t know what is.”

You had me at WINE.

Once in awhile, the perfect book at the perfect moment comes along and it’s a beautiful thing. When I saw that Laura Dave had a new book releasing soon, and that it was available on Netgalley, and that it was ABOUT WINE, I jumped at the chance to read it. Her previous novel, The First Husband, is one of my favorite books, so my expectations were high on this one.

I’m thrilled to say that I loved every single minute of this book. Dave’s writing is beautiful and once I started reading, I didn’t want the book to end.

Right before her wedding is to take place, Georgia finds out her future husband is keeping a big secret from her. In order to get her mind straight, she goes back home, to her family’s vineyard, only to find her normally stable family is falling apart and going through their own problems. More secrets start to unravel, and Georgia, who is normally the ‘fixer’ of the family, is finding out that she can’t control any of it, no matter how hard she tries.

“You don’t give up on a family. Not without trying to put it back together.”

I loved the family dynamics and watching all of the stories unfold between her parents and her brothers. I found that her family was really interesting and likable, and I was hoping for a good outcome for everyone in the end. I even loved the flashbacks to the earlier days of her parents courtship, and how the vineyard came to be. Mostly, it was my investment in Georgia and the decision she had to make in the end that had me anxiously flying through the pages.

And because I love wine, I really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of how a vineyard/winery is run. It was fascinating to me, and added so much more to the story that made it even more enjoyable. Not to mention, their signature wine is a Pinot Noir, and that is my absolute favorite. Yeah, I was definitely hooked from that moment on.

I found myself highlighting a lot of passages in this book, which I don’t do very often. Some are just common sense reminders, but I love seeing them built into a story I adore.

“Most of the time a person wants something more than anything else. You can tell because at the end of the day that’s what they’re willing to fight for.”

“You should be careful not to take the person you love for granted.”

“You couldn’t always work so hard to fix it. Even if things didn’t always go the way they should, sometimes they went exactly where they needed to.”

Realistic with the perfect amount of family drama and a touch of romance that makes for a great summer read!

ARC kindly provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can see my Goodreads review here.

5 Stars



5 thoughts on “Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel {Review}

  1. Suzi Q., The Book Dames says:

    I have been looking forward to your review of Eight Hundred Grapes.
    Isn’t it great when the timing is just right for us to love a book the way that you did this one? I loved how many great quotes there where in this book. There were some very wise characters.
    Great review, Brandie.

  2. Kathryn says:

    I’ve seen this around on a few blogs and all positive. Then I saw it on NetGalley but went past it reluctantly as I don’t want to take on too many review books. However this sounds like a book I would really enjoy so I am putting it on my list for later reading. So two great reads from this author means I really should try her.

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