Book Review: Eight Hundred Grapes
ashley | When we were offered an advance copy of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave, we took one look at the title and knew this was for us. A book about wine! About a vineyard! What could be more perfect?
What I didn’t expect was how complicated and layered this book would end up being. It’s far more than a book about wine; it’s a book about family and secrets and struggling to keep it together. In other words, it’s a book about pretty much everything I love reading about.
I liked Georgia a lot as a character. She threw her life off the tracks when she found out a shocking secret her fiancé was keeping from her, which is the basis of this story, and while I may not have agreed with all her reactions and choices, I thought she asked a lot of the right questions and wasn’t overly influenced by others in her decisions, making her a strong and level headed lead.
I pretty much liked every character; they were well rounded and good hearted, even when they were doing questionable things. Their motives and intentions were clearly described and you could hardly blame any of them. This is a family I felt I fit right in with and was happy to spend time with.
Dave digs right to the root of relationships, to the root of the choices we make and how that shapes everything we end up with. What happens when you realize you’ve made the wrong choice? Dave shows such insight and knowledge about these complicated relationships that you can’t help but end up analyzing your own choices and life.
Above all, this book is about the strength in a family that can hold everything together even in the rockiest of moments. And about finding your own path. Not necessarily the one you should take, but the one you want to take, even if you don’t know it at the time. And what better message than that?
On a personal note, I read this in the early stages of starting to plan my wedding and this was a huge inspiration in my venue choice. This made me remember and cherish everything about my family and growing up in my family home in the country, not a vineyard, but very similar to what we have here. It made me remember how special all of that can be and while my parents are on the edge of selling our childhood country home, much like Georgia’s parents, it motivated me to choose their home as the venue for my wedding. Because that is what I want from that day, to be surrounded by memories and the people who make me the happiest. Family.
But I swear, if I hear the term synchronization one more time I’m going to scream.