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The Lost Vintage

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  12,857 ratings  ·  1,533 reviews
Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this page-turning novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II

To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by William Morrow
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Ann Mah Hi, Cathy, Thank you so much for reading! I'm working on a new book about a secret society with roots in ancient Greece. …moreHi, Cathy, Thank you so much for reading! I'm working on a new book about a secret society with roots in ancient Greece. (less)
Ann Mah Hi Patricia,
Thank you for reading The Lost Vintage for your book club! I just posted discussion questions on my website. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the…more
Hi Patricia,
Thank you for reading The Lost Vintage for your book club! I just posted discussion questions on my website. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book!

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  12,857 ratings  ·  1,533 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 delectable stars to The Lost Vintage! 🍇 🍷 🍇 🍷 🍇

The Lost Vintage introduces Kate as she returns to her family’s vineyard in Burgundy, France, and while there, she uncovers a hidden room containing a lost diary and a host of secrets. The most intriguing was a family picture from the late 1930s containing an unknown person. Who was it? Another family member? And why wouldn’t Kate know who this person was?

The Lost Vintage is broken into two narratives; one being Kate’s as she seeks to become one
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The world needs novels like The Lost Vintage: page-turning tales that remind us both of the power of the human spirit and the mystery of the human heart. The Lost Vintage moves seamlessly between the indignities and horrors of occupied France in the Second World War and the pride and passion of serious winemakers in the present. It’s a remarkable novel.”
Cindy Burnett
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
4.5 stars

The Lost Vintage is a beautifully crafted tale told in a dual timeline format, and both stories are equally compelling. In the present-day tale, Kate is studying to pass the Master of Wine Examination and travels to her family estate in Burgundy to attempt to master the Burgundian vintages. While there, she uncovers a hidden room filled with World War 2 Resistance pamphlets and a vast amount of valuable wine. Spurred on by her discovery, Kate delves into her family’s past and uncovers a
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

I have a constant, nagging undertone of paranoia, like the unrelenting throb of a toothache that I am constantly testing with my tongue.

… Rose’s tragic death still haunted me. I found myself scrutinizing my thoughts, wary I would discover some ingrained bias, some inherent prejudice, some evidence that I was genetically predisposed to moral weakness.

My Review:

Written in my favorite dual POV and spanning dual timelines, this engagingly written yet angsty book presented a major ch
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
The best thing about this book was the beautiful cover. I was really excited to read it - and even bought it the week it came out - because I read quite a bit of WWII era historical fiction and had never heard about the abuse women suffered after the "liberation". Unfortunately this book did not live up to my expectations.

I felt the writing was amateurish. For example, the author tried to pull in past events to give context to present events (generally a good story-telling technique, but not in
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: release-2018
A solid 5 ☆ and one of the best novels I’ve read this year! ❤️
The Lost Vintage has two stories alternating from past to present.

The past is a compelling story of the life Hélène lived during the Nazi occupation in France. Is truly gripping + heartbreaking.

Fast forward to present. Kate has failed the Master of Wine Examination twice and after losing her job she visits her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy. While cleaning out the cellar with her cousin, she finds a hidden room with pricele
Tasha Alexander
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ann Mah is an extraordinary writer, and her new book, The Lost Vintage, is a delicious concoction of mystery, deftly handled family drama, and a fascinating glimpse into the world of wine-making. A vineyard in Burgundy, secrets hidden since World War II, and two perfectly-balanced narratives (one contemporary, one set during the war), make this an unforgettable read. Mah never, ever disappoints - I've loved all of her books, but this might just be my favorite. She's one of the rare writers who c ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Reading this book was like having only 2 stations for channel surfing & not caring for either. I didn't feel invested in any the modern-day characters or their 1st world problems, the WWII characters were stock figures, the family situations seemed formulaic, the romance seemed forced, the ending too pat. I don't regret reading it (I needed something on the elliptical machine, after all), but I had expected so much more; war & terroir are a potentially splendid pairing. It ended up more like a m ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable dual time line historical fiction that takes place during WW2. I absolutely loved the wine theme and the descriptions of the winery in France. It made me want to pack up and move there. I will also mention, that this book goes well with a glass of wine...preferably one from Burgundy!
It’s probably more of a 2.5 but I’m gonna be generous and round up to 3.

I discovered this book while reading an article about wines and found it really intriguing. It felt even more exciting when I got the library copy immediately but after finishing this in almost a single sitting, I am not exactly sure what I feel about it.

Our main protagonist Kate comes to Burgundy, her mother’s birthplace with an excuse that she needs to prepare for the Master of Wine test, but she mostly just wants to find
Kathryn in FL
Author, Ann Mah has published an exquisite novel. Though she is no stranger to writing for numerous food journals and pieces in leading world newspapers and magazines. This story is told in alternating voices and experiences of two women, Helene and Kate. Mah ties these women's lives together in an intriguing manner that provides for a fun and informative travel through history.

Helene is Kate's great-aunt, an active participant in the resistance movement in occupied France, who was captured and
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
4,5 stars


First let’s mention the, once again, excellent performance of Saskia Maarleveld. She’s become one of my “go to” narrators especially in historical fiction.

The Lost Vintage is an historical fiction built around two female characters and two periods in time: Kate is our modern female character and Helene lived during WWII in Burgundy.

We alternate between past and present chapters and both stories were fascinating to follow.


As the synopsis suggests Kate, who lives in San
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
I loved this Historical Fiction novel set in Burgundy France. The story is told in past and present day. Kate returns to her family home to study for the Master of Wine examination that she has failed twice.
She makes herself useful to her cousin Nico and his wife Heather by helping them prepare the house to be turned into a bed and breakfast. While there, she discovers a secret cave filled with Resistance literature and vintage vine. This leads her on a journey to discovery about her families i
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had a hunch I was going to really enjoy this book and I was correct. I absolutely ADORED it !! Not only was it based on two of my most favorite things, which would be historical fiction & 🍷 , but the story and the way the author unfolded it, was perfection !! I was sad when I turned the last page !

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 Cheers !!!!
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read, historical

So incredibly good! I was completely transported to France while I was reading The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah.

While visiting her family at their vineyard in France, Kate discovers a hidden area in the basement that has been walled-off for decades. Inside, there are countless bottles of expensive and rare wine, an area that looks to have been a safe place for someone to hide out during World War II, and some belongings from a family member that was previously unknown to her. As Kate and her fam
While Kate, a wine sommelier, was in France studying for the Master of Wine test, she also discovered a secret in her family's past that altered her life forever. Told in a dual timeline, the story alternated between diary entries written during WWII in occupied France and present day. Both stories were compelling and kept me intrigued throughout the entire book. What decades old secret did Kate uncover while staying with her cousin, Nico, and his wife, Heather (who is also Kate's best friend fr ...more
Angie Pope
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Pretty ‘bleh’ for me. Historical fiction is my FAVORITE genre, esp WW2 HF. So I’m a little bit picky but I found this book to be pretty amateur. The lack of character development was a letdown and I felt like she tossed stuff into the storyline that didn’t need to be there and left things open ended and hanging where she could have done so much more. For example...what was the point of walker in the story? She never really finished that storyline.
Overall just not my favorite book.
Jeanne Adamek
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a number of my Goodread friends started reviewing this book I have to say that it caught my attention, but still I held back. I, honestly, am not a Francophil or a wine lover--but still there was one Goodread friend after another praising this story. I was intrigued. I also absolutely love historical novels so I bought this book and started reading.

I have to admit that I found the very beginning of the story to be slow. Remembering the excitement shared in the reviews I read I pushed on. It w
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who isn't particularly interested in fine wine or French culture, I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Lost Vintage. (There is currently sangria in a can in my fridge, to sum up my wine cred.) Even if you’ve never swooned over a pinot grigio or imagined yourself cruising with the top down in the French countryside, Ann Mah will make you want to grab the next flight, roll up your pant legs, and stomp around in some grapes a la I Love Lucy. There are two timelines in the book—one of m ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, an easy read. First off, if you are an avid reader, love wine, and speak French you will love this book. My thoughts were turned to the Diary of Anne Frank in a likeness of the back story from the 1940's, it was set in at the end of each chapter. However I almost feel I would like to learn more about Helene, the ending was well wrapped up, however I did have a few questions left unanswered. ...more
Helena DaSilva
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A page-turning tale novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
*4.5 stars ✨
Danielle Trussoni
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Vintage was immediately alluring, as I am both a wine lover and Francophile. These elements alone would have been enough, but Ann Mah's characters, and the way that their lives intersect with family secrets kept since the Second World War, kept my interested. I was particularly impressed by her ability to weave historical information into an engrossing story. ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kate is at a crossroads in her life. She returns to her family’s vineyard in France and uncovers a lost diary that contains secrets about her family from World War II. As she begins to put the pieces together from long ago she also begins to put herself back together.

Told in dual timelines, this is a riveting read. Both storylines were well written and flowed beautifully. The setting is vividly portrayed and the plot executed nicely. I dare you to read this without pouring a glass of wine and p
Dayle (the literary llama)
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Bonjour les amoureux des livres! I had the pleasure of reading THE LOST VINTAGE last week and I’m so excited to share my thoughts. I easily gave it 4 Stars.

A woman, Kate, studying for the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examination, returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II... intriguing no?!

First off, a warning... this book will make you HUNGRY! And, no sur
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ann Mah has a special ability that makes us read her book but never wanting to end it, every page I scrolled it made me sad that I'm going towards the ending! The story she has put within the novel is extraordinary beautiful and interesting! Definitely if you're wanting to choose a book to read you mustn't miss this one, The Lost Vintage has every feeling inside!
So the main character is Kate, a wine sommelier, and the novel takes place in the most beautiful country in the World France, and we s
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
I took a break from historical fiction for a bit and went on a thriller binge for awhile.. but oh boy am I back! I LOVED this book and I don't know why it took me so long to read it. It's historical fiction at its finest, with a really fun and intriguing mystery - so definitely incorporates 2 aspects I love to read about, while really heavy on another of my favorite things ... wine!

Kate's family has been making wine at their French vineyard for generations. And although it's been a long time sin
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ehbooklover, margaret, booksandchinooks
If there ever was a book that made me want to grab a seat on the next plane to France and drink wine it is this book.

Ann Mah, a Travel and Food writer and novelist, provides readers with stunning descriptions of the Burgundy region of France, its wine and history, as the backdrop to a story about a long-held family secret.

The story is told using two equally compelling narratives: Kate, a young woman in 2015 who is studying to become one of the top wine experts in the world and the other narrat
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
This is the first book that I've read by Ann Mah and it definitely won't be the last. This was a fantastic well written novel that takes place in France with a dual time line of present day and the 1940s during WWII. It had mystery, romance and took place in France - what can be better than that?

Usually when books are written with dual time lines, I like one story better than the other. In The Lost Vintage, I found both story lines interesting and intriguing. Helene's time starts pre-WWII when s
Alison Needham
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Smart, tender-hearted and warm, this book moves between two worlds — Nazi occupied France and today where a sommelier heads from the US back to her French family to hone her skills to prepare for her master sommelier exam. While there, she stumbles upon family secrets that have been buried since WWII.

I laughed, I cried, and I learned so much about what life was like in France during the war, and the sacrifices made by so many women who were left to fight their own battles at home.

If you love w
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Ann Mah is a journalist and novelist based in Paris and Hanoi, where her family is on a diplomatic assignment. She is a regular contributor to New York Times Travel section, and her articles have also appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, the Washington Post, The Best American Travel Writing 2017, Washingtonian magazine,,,, and other publications.

Ann is the author

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