Reviews by Amanda G.
A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she's describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).
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. - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Eight-Hundred-Grapes/Laura-Dave/9781476789255#sthash.YPDAJAdW.dpuf
The toughest question you'll find is do you prefer black haired or blond Howl?
I borrowed this to take to a relative's house to scan old photo albums. The rest of the family were very impressed at the speed that I worked through scanning the books.
I accidentally read the last one in the series first, but thankfully there was enough tantalizing details to get the gist of the love stories of the three other sisters.
As for Josie herself, I'm glad to read of a heroine who is considered to be fat within her own time (though the cover art entirely misses the major motivations/psyche of the character). This is unusual for what I've read since most romance heroines are very slender.
I enjoyed the topsy-turvey lives of the multiple characters interacting and swapping partners. Though while I enjoyed the rival's surprise twist, at the same time, I feel kinda "meh" that outcome was used to explain her uh... "frigid" attitude towards her fiance.
The other major romance in the background was far more interesting than of Josie and her guy. Fortunately, about a third of the book was dedicated to that love affair.
I almost gave up on this one because it was gruesome, slow, and full of horrors. But I'm glad that I persisted through. Each step along the way is a surprise with never-ending agonies for the people to face. The ending is somewhat awful too in what it does to the characters involved. I somewhat don't want to read the sequel to find out how they sort themselves out of this mess.