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The Vineyards of Champagne

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,437 ratings  ·  243 reviews
Beneath the cover of France's most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence....

Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lie below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from th
Paperback, 388 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Berkley
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Did you know women and children lived in caves underneath the vineyards of the Champagne region in France during World War I? While the Germans mercilessly shelled their country, there was an underground city brimming with life. And bravery. This is the historical timeline of The Vineyards of Champagne.

In the present day, Rosalyn is visiting Champagne to find the best wines for her work in Napa, California. She discovers a collection of WWI letters sharing the daily life of the women and childre
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
WWI France.... A beautiful story about a tragic time. Juliet Blackwell has brilliantly told the story of the Champagne region of France through old letters. Old letters that told the story of the women and children of France living underneath the champagne houses in miles and miles of caves. Entire towns were moved underground homes, shops, bakeries, schools, animals, and of course the people. The only time they came out was to pick the grapes. I was completely fascinated by this part of history ...more
Karren  Sandercock
France 1916, the German’s fought hard to take the town of Reims, when the French army push them back, the German army start shelling the town nonstop and they totally destroyed it. The town’s residents have no choice but to take shelter and live in the chalky caves that are used to store the areas famous bubbly champagne. Lucie Marechal, her mother and father are all living in the caves, their beautiful home has been destroyed and they have nowhere else to live and its safer underground. The wom ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Rosalyn works for a vineyard in Napa, California, and is told she has to go to Champagne, France. Who wouldn't want to go to Champagne, France - well...Rosalyn isn't too excited about going.

On her flight over, Rosalyn meets Emma who has found letters from a soldier and a woman that corresponded during the war. She asked Rosalyn to help her put all the letters together and to make some sense out of them, but Rosalyn declines the offer. She said she has to do what her employer asked her to do.

Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall: An engrossing and romantic dual timeline historical fiction novel focused on Champagne region of France. The story is captivating and held my attention throughout- learned something new about history and highly enjoyed it. A perfect holiday read to get lost in 4/5 or 7/10.

Summary: This book is told in two different timelines with the central theme being the vineyards of Chamagne's involvement during WWI. In present day, we meet Rosalyn Acosta. She works for Small Fortune Wines out of Na
Jeanne Adamek
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
3.4 stars
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed two of the author's paranormal series (Haunted Home Renovation and Witchcraft), so I wasn't sure what to expect with her new novel. It was totally different, but I was not disappointed. Rosalyn, a wine sales rep, has been sent to the Champagne region of France to get some new clients. She meets an interesting Aussie woman on the plane, and gets involved with translating some letters from World War I. (Apparently some older women, called marraines de guerre, wrote to the French sol ...more
Deanne Patterson
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having never visited France myself, I love that I was able to visit France through this book.
The descriptions are sumptuous and I swear I could smell the heady scent of the grapes in the vineyard as I was reading.
A time split novel the past and present mesh effortlessly .
In present time Rosalyn travels to Champagne to elect vintages for her Napa-based employer.Her attitude is not a good one. Her young husband died an untimely death and since then she has not been living, just going through the m
Carla Johnson-Hicks
In the French Countryside, women and children lived in caves underneath the vineyards of the Champagne region in France during World War I. While the Germans mercilessly shelled their country, there was an underground city brimming with life. Most were women and children, but here were also resistance fighters, old men, and some soldiers. Because of that, snipers often shot and killed anyone they caught moving around in the vineyards. This is a dual timeline story. In the present, Rosalyn is vis ...more
Lucy Burdette
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a Francophile, I love Juliet Blackwell's stand-alones set in France. The Vineyards of Champagne is no exception. The World War I history woven into the story is fascinating, as are the details of life in rural France and world of champagne production. And who could resist her gorgeous but grumpy French vintner? ...more
Jamie (jamie.bookworm)
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I can be so picky with historical fiction, so I am excited to say that I really liked this one. This book brought me right into France, craving some bubbly and a baguette along the entire way.

The Vineyards of Champagne is set mostly in present day in Champagne, where Rosalyn has traveled for work to meet with champagne makers to represent in the US. In her travels she meets Emma, who is searching for answers to letters she found from WWI. In these letters tells a story of this region during the
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I love historical fiction, especially WWI and WWII. I visited Reims and when I had the opportunity to read this novel set in Reims, I jumped at it. I always hope to get some education with my historical fiction and this book did provide a bit of insight. I did not know that the occupants of the Champagne region lived in caves during WWI, nor did I know about the "marraines de guerre" or godmothers of war who corresponded with soldiers throughout the war. Other than those two gems, there was no n ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
I’m always so fascinated at discovering the historical facts I’d never known while reading Historical Fiction. It’s one of my favorite things about this genre, not to mention the love stories woven throughout.

While reading The Vineyards of Champagne I once again learned something new with the hidden caves beneath the vineyards throughout France, that served as a place to hide women and children during the Great War.

I binge read this book and really loved the second chance at love for main charac
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I do so love a Juliet Blackwell book. She is an auto buy for me and this is my favorite. I will never look at a glass of champagne the same way ever again. Could not put this one down and some of the most like-able and endearing characters ever. Truly a gem of a book.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
The vineyards of champagne; a story rich in history, ripe with oenophile information, bubbling with a tantalizing mystery, and laced with subtle but juicy overtones of romance. This book will satisfy the lover of historical fiction, the cork dorks, those who crave a bit of mystery, and those looking for a touch of romance. I loved listening to this book and didn't want it to end! ...more
Jill Nathanson
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The prologue begins in 1916 with a group of people living in caves below a champagne house in Reims France. The story gripped me immediately and I was desperate to know how these people came to live in the caves and what eventually happened to them. The story switches to the modern day with an interesting assortment of characters trying to track down these very answers. I eagerly followed along with them as they uncovered the truth of these characters, primarily through letters written between a ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book courtesy of Berkley and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
The Vineyards of Champagne is Juliet Blackwell’s story of Rosalyn, a young woman adjusting to life as a widow. The wine seller she works for in Napa sends her to Champagne to obtain new wines from small vineyards. On the flight to France she meets Emma, an Australian woman who shares a remarkable story of the brave people of France during WWI. She asks Rosalyn if she’d like to help solve a mystery that involves the area of C
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book it successfully goes back and forth from present day in Champagne France with the main character who is a sales rep from Napa trying to represent small wineries in France, to 1917 during the war.
Letters have been found that link to the past when many people hid in caves under the vineyards to keep from the bombings in WW1
The letters bring together three women who try to find out what happened to the people in the letters and if they have descendants now . It also brings them to
I've read most of Juliet Blackwell's mysteries, and all of her novels. However, The Vineyards of Champagne, a story of grief and love, history and vineyards, is a book with a remarkable, moving voice. Blackwell has dug into her own heart to reveal a painful story of loss and resilience.

In 1914, a wealthy Australian widow, Doris Whittaker, writes her first letter to a young solder from Reims, France. She and Emile Paul Legrand correspond as he tells his marraine de guerre, his "war godmother", th
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
Rosalyn is still grieving the death of her husband. But, her job and her boss, whom she owes many favors, is requiring her to travel to Champagne, France. As a wine seller, she is going to try to sign some champagnes to their Napa Valley winery. While on the flight, she meets Emma. Emma is traveling to Champagne to do research on WWI. Emma has letters that went back and forth from the trenches of the war to the caves of Champagne. During the war, people fled to the caves. There were whole villag ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
The Vineyards of Champagne follows three storylines: Rosalyn, Doris and Lucie. The main focus is on Rosalyn, a widower in present day Napa valley, struggling to pay off debt that her husband kept from her when he tragically and suddenly died. Rosalyn is told to go to the Champagne region of France to source some smaller vineyards for the winery she words at back in Napa. She doesn't care for France and does not like Champagne so she is not really looking forward to the trip. Rosalyn meets a viva ...more
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I had never heard about French civilians hiding and living in the tunnels beneath the champagne houses in the Champagne region during WWI, so I found the historical setting of this novel fascinating. In fact, I wanted a lot more of the past story than I did the present story, which is often the case when I'm reading dual-timeline novels. Part of the reason is I didn't really care for Rosalyn, who seemed self-absorbed and bland, without any real personality to make her more appealing. Also, THE V ...more
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
This read is like our current events. When the main character is severely flawed, the whole thing falls away; and so it is with Rosalyn. The place, the plot, the treasure hunt for ancient documents, the inside the trenches experiences of WWI, even learning about champagne production, could have been riveting for me. But Blackwell has essentially written a romance within a romance here which I didn't enjoy. It made me mad too, and this is why I gave it 3 stars. Here I am again, confronted with th ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.

While I've only spent a few days in the Champagne region of France, this book did a fantastic job taking me back- and expanding on what I had experienced and seen. The contemporary story in this book followed Rosalyn, a young widow struggling to move forward, as she travels to France for work and is swept up in the search for historical information along the way. The other part of the story tells about the lives of
Oct 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Still mourning the loss of her husband, Rosalyn, a wine Rep, is offered a trip to the Champagne region of France. She reluctantly packs her bag and upon boarding fortuitously meets Emma, a women who will help in changing Rosalyn’s outlook on life. Rosalyn assists Emma in solving a century’s old mystery found in her great Aunt’s letters to a French soldier. The ugliness, horror and emotionally debilitating life in the trenches is revealed in these letters. It was the information about entire comm ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway.

When I began this book I thought it would be another serious historical fiction that played out more like a history lesson involving the Champagne Region and what happened during World War I and beyond. While I would have enjoyed that story, I was surprised and delighted to find that these characters set in modern day, were looking back through history with the help of letters from the time. I loved the development of each character and their diffe
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was lovely. I had been getting a bit tired of the current dual-timeline trend, but in this book it really worked. A lovely story of modern day and World War One Champagne.

(I say modern day, and the chapters are labeled “present day” in the book, but of course even the present is historical-people are flying in airplanes, and visiting each other, and having dinner parties, and marching in parades. It is not the present day at all.)
Joan Wright
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, as I have with all of her other books that take place in France. Again, I listened to the audiobook and the French pronunciation, while better than some of the previous books, was still not great. One needs to learn to pronounce Reims if it is in the book so many times. It may not bother anyone else, but it drives me nuts. I will read the next one, not listen to avoid disappointment.
Brenda Hojonski
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Juliet Blackwell knows how to write stories that are a journey through time and the overcoming of an emotional crisis as the past history helps heal the hurts of the current time. As you journey through the book, characters from World War I tell their stories through letters to those of the future, evolving into a rich composition of life, pain, and survival. Set in France, the descriptions of the countryside and the tunnels are ones you feel transported to and can see and feel yourself. I liste ...more
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Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding orc ...more

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