About the Book:
The Widows of Champagne
For readers of Lilac Girls and The Lost Girls of Paris comes a captivating novel of resilience, as three generations of women battle to save their family’s vineyard during WWII.
Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree is taking her family’s future into her hands. While she should be preparing for a lavish party to celebrate two centuries of champagne making, she secretly hides Chateau Fouché-Leblanc’s most precious vintages behind a fake wall in the cellar in preparation for the looming war. But when she joins the resistance, the coveted champagne isn’t the most dangerous secret her cellar must conceal…
A former Parisian socialite, Gabrielle’s mother, Hélène, lost her husband to another war. Now her home has been requisitioned by the Germans, who pillage vineyards to satisfy the Third Reich’s thirst for the finest champagne. There’s even more at stake than Hélène dares admit. She has kept her heritage a secret…and no one is safe in Nazi-occupied France.
Josephine, the family matriarch, watches as her beloved vineyard faces its most difficult harvest yet. As her daughter-in-law and granddaughters contend with the enemies and unexpected allies in their midst, Josephine’s deep faith leads to her own path of resistance.
Across years and continents, the Leblanc women will draw on their courage and wits, determined against all odds to preserve their lives, their freedom and their legacy…
What a heart tugging story!
Have you ever read a story and not wanted the ending to come? Well, that is how I felt with this story. Renee Ryan swept me away into a world I did not want to leave. The plot was remarkably interesting, and I was hooked by the three points of view she used to convey they story. All three women had reasons for the things they did, and it was fascinating watching them unfold.
Renee Ryan even added in several different twists and turns I did not anticipate; and that ending ahh… Plus, old family secrets?!? I mean this story literally has it all and has left me reeling with bittersweet feelings.
The historical details while somewhat glossed over (the book begins before WWII and ends slightly after it) were very well done and gave just the right amount of detail to fit the story. Loved the suspenseful moments and how Renee Ryan wove in tragedy, hope, redemption, forgiveness, and love – all in one lovely heart-touching little book. I only wish it were not over with.
I HIGHLY recommend this book, a definite 5 Star read!
*I Volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
About the Author
Renee Ryan grew up in a small Florida beach town. Surfing didn’t work for her, but that didn’t keep her from watching others tackle the waves. To entertain herself during those countless hours of “laying-out”, she read many of the classics. It wasn’t until the summer between her sophomore and junior years at Florida State University that she read her first romance novel. Hooked from page one, she spent hours consuming one book after another while working on the best (and last!) tan of her life.
Two years later, armed with a degree in Economics and Religion, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park, a modeling agency, and a cosmetic conglomerate. She went on to teach high school Economics, American Government and Latin in between coaching award-winning cheerleading teams. Several years later, with an eclectic cast of characters swimming around in her head, she began seriously pursuing a writing career. What better excuse to avoid housework and ignore clocks?