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The Vineyards of Champagne

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  33 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
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Berkley
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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
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.

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 ...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
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
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
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
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",
Julie Failla Earhart
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I don’t get my Christmas cookies baked this year (2019), it’s Juliette Blackwell’s fault. She has written another compelling novel that had to be read as opposed to baking.

The story takes place in, and below, in France’s Champagne region. I first learned about the numerous cave systems that run throughout the area when I read Kristin Harmel’s “The Winemaker’s Wife.” Fascinating reading.

This story has one of my favorite storytelling devices: dualing timelines. The present day starts off in
Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Rosalyn Acosta works as a wine sales rep for her friend Hugh in California. He offered her the job and some essential financial support after her husband died of cancer, leaving her grieving and bankrupt. She dislikes sales and is an artist at heart, but it’s hard to support herself and make enough money to pay back creditors by painting.

Hugh sends Rosalyn to a sales conference in the Champagne region of France. She doesn’t want to go since she dislikes champagne and has too many
Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
Summary: Rosalyn Acosta works as a wine sales rep for her friend Hugh in California. He offered her the job and some essential financial support after her husband died of cancer, leaving her grieving and bankrupt. She dislikes sales and is an artist at heart, but it’s hard to support herself and make enough money to pay back creditors by painting.

Hugh sends Rosalyn to a sales conference in the Champagne region of France. She doesn’t want to go since she dislikes champagne and has too many
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 ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019-books
This was a very special book for me, because there were themes in the book that surprised me and were incredibly relevant given my year.

I thought the Vineyards of Champagne was going to be your typical pleasant vacation in France with a side of historical fiction (World War I) enjoyable winter reading book. While it was that for sure, the setting was lovely, I enjoyed feeling like I was spending time in France and brushing up on my French language skills. But, the thing about Rosalyn is she is
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book Review: The Vineyards of Champagne, by Juliet Blackwell

In present day, Rosalyn is living in Napa Valley and has been booked by her boss, Hugh, to depart California for Paris, then the Champagne region who has hired her as a wine representative tasked with finding additional French vineyards willing to let his firm rep their vintages in America. Rosalyn has a complicated history and Hugh knows it. She is trying to ignore her heartbreak over the unexpected death of her husband, Dash, a
Judy Beetem
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book and unexpectedly deep. From the title I was expecting another romance set in a lush, exotic part of the world - the Champagne region of France to be exact. This book was so much more than that. It concerns recently widowed Rosalyn travelling to the very small town of Cochet in France to meet with champagne producers to make connections for her boss, an importer in Napa Valley. On her flight over she meets Emma Kinsley, a very wealthy Australian woman on her own mission. ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the things I love most about reading is being taken to places I've never been and learning about long ago events hidden to history. The Vineyards of Champagne easily did both, recounting the tales of World War I and the families who lived among the caves of the Champagne region of France to avoid the shelling and sniper fire that devastated homes and villages and lives.

The story moves back and forth in time as we first meet Rosalyn in the present day, traveling to Champagne to find
Charlotte Lynn
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have always thought WWII was my time but I am coming to realize that WWI was just as intriguing. I love hearing about the history of a place that has always been known for its amazing champagne but has so much more history to learn about.

The letters that were read in the present time bring to light a history story that you would never find in a classroom and makes the WWI era so much more real. The art of writing letters is lost to many with all the present technology but in the time of war
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the things I love about historical fiction is how it can teach me something. There’s a lot of books out there on WWII but I haven’t read many that take place during WWI. I had absolutely no idea that some people actually lived in caves to stay safe.

This story is about Rosalyn and Lucie, told in dual timelines.
In the current day, Rosalyn is a young widow. Her boss sends her to Champagne to sign some smaller champagne sellers to his label. Rosalyn doesn’t like her job much. She doesn’t like
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

Popular stories among our community are Historical Fiction that focus on building your life back together or rediscovering your path from past artifices that ultimately will save your life. Just like the struggle Roselyn went through while visiting the Champagne vineyards in Paris. Even though she was on for a business trip, she
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
Susie Dumond
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Rosalyn travels to the Champagne region of France on business, she's at a bit of a crossroads. She's grieving the death of her husband, struggling financially, hating her job, and fighting to find a path forward. But once she begins to learn the history of Champagne during World War I, she immerses herself in the stories of people living in caves to avoid shrapnel and risking their lives to pick grapes for victory vintage wines.

I love the way this book portrays the magic of being at the
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Wonderful places to hide, these underground chambers where wine is aged and stored. Controlled temperature. Lots of room. Whole schools and businesses relocated there during the German Occupation in WWII.

In the present day, two women who were strangers, meet on a Trans-Atlantic flight to France. Find they are going to the same obscure place -- Champagne -- to a small town called Cochet. Where Gaspard Ble and Ble Champagne are located. Rosalyn and Emma soon learn that they are looking for
Emmanuelle Works
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I won this one in a Goodreads giveaway. Since I started entering, I've discovered the appeal of professional writers of bestsellers, the reliable authors who can produce a respectable, predictable, but entertaining novel a year. This one is sweet, making you care for the characters, while deftly avoiding the worst pitfalls of the most painful sentimentality. It's an easy, well-paced, enjoyable read. As a French person who moved to the US 25 years ago, I appreciate her love and knowledge of ...more
Chris Markley
Set among the vineyards of Champagne this is a story of love, loss, survival, and finding your life and yourself when you feel like you can not go on. Rosalyn works for a wine distributor and is sent on a trip of a lifetime, a working vacation to Champagne but Rosalyn does not want to be there and does not understand the fascination with champagne. On the plane she meets Emma and is drawn to Emma and the project she is working on, searching for World War I letters from her aunt in Australia to a ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019-books
I wanted to read this novel because it was set in France and included some World War I history, and while this book was good for both of those reasons, what pulled this book up to a 5 star rating for me was Rosalyn and her challenges in dealing with grief at the loss of her husband. This was timely for me, having recently lost a family member. It was good to read about a character in that space as well. But the historical mystery and atmosphere of the French countryside was also very enjoyable. ...more
Julie Kleckner
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating and heartbreaking story. I love the history of this region in France and the stories of families living during war time. I found this book hard to put down...would highly recommend this book.
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.
Dana Duplantis
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this book’
Lauren Key
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Boring, almost didn’t finish. Awkward and barely like able protagonist.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was exceptional in so many ways!

An education look at a segment of French history that I had never heard about.

I won an ARC courtesy of Berkeley Publishing and Net Galley.
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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 ...more