Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…
Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.
But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.
Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…
I adored this book. I love dysfunctional family stories, and this one drew me in immediately. Georgia finds out 10 days before her wedding that her fiance has a daughter that he never told her about. She freaks out and immediately drives to her childhood home…without even removing her wedding dress that was being fitted when she discovered this secret.
The secrets keep coming! This family was an absolute mess, but it didn’t seem over the top. I soaked up all the drama without complaint. The pacing of this book was fantastic. Laura Dave dives right in and kept me guessing the whole book. I was surprised by many of the plot points and couldn’t decide what I thought was going to happen.
And the writing is beautiful! In the way of John Green, except for adults, this book is full of hard truths about life. Seriously, there were so many nuggets of wisdom in this book – about relationships mostly. I couldn’t stop recording quotes.
If I assigned half stars, this book would have been a 4.5. I was so torn about 4 stars vs. 5 stars, but I ultimately went with 4 stars because of the repetitive use of the word “synchronization”. I appreciated what Dave was trying to do, but the overuse was a little distracting.
The grape growing and wine making elements of the story were an added bonus. I will definitely be serving wine at our book club meeting tonight when we discuss this book.
It was a great read, and at only 260 pages, I devoured it in two days, staying up way too late to finish it on Monday night.
“Be careful what you give up… Because, eventually, you get it back any way you can.”
“But I hadn’t protected him from my family. Wasn’t that the job? It was about the two of you. And you told the rest of the world that you had it figured out or that you would. That was love, after all. Loyalty in the face of despair.”
“I stopped paying attention to her. I stopped doing the things that someone does for the person he loves. Because I was tired. Because other things always seemed to matter a little bit more… That doesn’t happen overnight, you know. It happens slowly. You should be careful of that. You should be careful not to take the person you love for granted. Not only because they’ll notice. But you’ll notice too. You’ll think it means something it doesn’t… Like that’s how much you care.”
My Ratings: 4 Stars