Updated: Jan 6, 2019
Set in the Champagne region of France, this charming novel follows 3 sisters, lonely & vivacious Clementine, sophisticated and clever Madeline & the warm and caring Sophie. Clementine is the rightful heir to the vineyard, the House of Peine, that has been in her family for generations. From a young age, she has spent all her life caring and working hard for these vines, as well as her grumpy & alcoholic father. Her father soon passes away, and to Clementine's surprise, she learns that she must share the vineyard with her two half sisters, one she's never even known about and the other she has not seen for 20 years. The three sisters clash and struggle to save their family heritage while also dealing with their own personal problems. Eventually, they learn to overcome these issues...and I'll leave it at that because I don't want to spoil the ending!
This book was a slow burner but once it gets going it is oh so delicious!! So worth reading till the end. The character development is very gripping, you get to discover each sister, who they really are, and how they became the person they are today. It's a story about sisterly bonds, family and the difficulty of such relationships. The book deals deeply with these issues and the complicated growing pains one can have with their siblings, and the power of a parents absence & presence. As well as the bonds that can form from an honest, nurturing & supportive family. It was really refreshing to read a book about family relationships as opposed to the romance novels I usually will go for.
This novel is from the same author- Sarah-Kate Lynch as 'The Wedding Bees 🐝', a lovely romance novel that I reviewed a few weeks back. Except that this book came out much earlier than the wedding bees. I much preferred this novel and writing style, as it was a little more complex in the story line, and the ending was just amazing. So sweet and tender. It takes you on an emotional roller-coaster throughout the whole book, I actually loved it more as I read on. A real 'feel good' book! Couldn't help but feeling all warm and fuzzy inside after reading 'House of Daughters'.
I also learned a helluvalot about Champagne people! Wowza, this book made me want to stay on a vineyard in the Champagne region of France so damn bad. As well as drink amazing Champagne. Like I could really murder a glass of Laurent-Perrier right now. The author really did her homework on this! I actually never really knew how champagne was made till I read this book, seriously, so very informative. It's not like I drink champagne on the regular as it's mostly for those special occasions in life, but making champagne is a true labour of love, very fascinating too. The book also featured quite a lot of french words in there and I loved how the author had a little dictionary translation of all the french words mentioned in the book at the end of the story. So great!
Highly recommend this book if you are a vineyard enthusiast, champagne lover or just want to read an honest and real story about family relationships and sisters. Or if you just want a great summery book to read then add this to your list!
Big hugs and thanks to Nadine who lent me this lovely book from her personal bookshelf, you have awesome taste in books.