Eight Hundred Grapes

When Georgia Ford looks out the bridal shop window and spots her fiancé, Ben, with another woman, she reacts instinctively: she jumps in her car and drives nine hours--in her wedding dress--to seek solace at her parents' northern California vineyard.

In Laura Dave's (The First Husband) fourth novel, Eight Hundred Grapes, Georgia and Ben's romantic woes are just the beginning of tumult. Georgia arrives at the Sonoma vineyard looking for comfort but finds her close-knit family in the throes of crises rivaling her own.

Her parents are "taking time apart"; her father's decision to sell the beloved but demanding Last Straw Vineyard is too late to save their marriage. Georgia's twin brothers love the same woman, and their triangle is torn by real and perceived alienations. While the family rallies to support Georgia, their advice varies on how to handle the shock of learning Ben has a daughter from a previous relationship and that he's friendly with her glamorous mother.

With the wedding date picked to coincide with the celebratory grape harvest, Georgia has to decide soon if she'll go through with the ceremony. As she weighs her options, she realizes that her threatened nuptials are perhaps not what's tugging hardest at her heart. Rather, it's the loss of the vineyard, so she fights the planned sale to the rival winery and its forthright (and handsome) CEO.

Decisions remain bottled until the end of this fast-paced novel, which holds surprises and satisfying conclusions for the family and the harvest both. Eight Hundred Grapes is a delightful read by itself but pairs perfectly with a good California wine. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

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