Today I am very excited to welcome France Book Tours to the Book Binder’s Daughter with a unique historical fiction book The Wharf of Chartrons. This book is set just before, during and after World War I, and continues my commemoration of the centenary of The Great War. I hope you read my review, look at the other stops on the tour, and enter to win your own copy of this book.
A family linked by wine and old rivalries sets out for new territory, during the turmoil of World War I. David and Gaspard are cousins, bonded by family and their allegiance to their winemaking heritage. Parting with tradition and moving their vineyards near Bordeaux threatens to upset the family peace, but that’s only the beginning of their trouble. Short on funds, they are forced to team with a wealthy but morally corrupt engineer—though perhaps at a cost too high for the cousins. Despite the odds, David and Gaspard succeed in making a successful wine, Clos-Marzacq. Along the way, they each fall in love, though not always in the best of circumstances. And now, to cement their successes, the cousins need to secure a stronghold on the Wharf of Chartrons, seen as the gateway to selling in England and America
David and Gaspard are cousins who have been raised in the winegrowing region of Chantegrele. For generations their families have made a living off of the land by producing wines from their vineyards. But David and Gaspard want to break free of their families and move to Bordeaux, buy a plot of land, and make their own award-winning wines. The first part of the book deals with David and Gaspard trying to separate themselves from their disapproving families and to establish their own vineyard. They take on a partner, Castillard, who is a ruthless captain of industry and shows Gaspard the ways of modern business deals. This book really leaves off where Malaval’s last book, The Winegrowers of Chantegrele leaves off. If you want more background about the Pierrebrunne and Maldelbos families, I suggest reading his first book as well.
The second part of the book, which I found more engaging, deals with David’s and Gaspard’s struggles with relationships. David meets, falls in love with, and marries a woman rather quickly but their marriage is tumultuous. Gaspard spends years pinning over a woman he cannot have because she is married. At one point he does manage to seduce this woman, named Constance, but she is never completely willing to let go of her husband and Gaspards’ obsession with her becomes pathetic.
The Wharf of Chartrons also describes the effects that France’s involvement has on the winegrowing industry during World War I. There is also a brief description of the battlefield when Constance’s husband volunteers to go to the front lines to fight for his country. I do wish that the author spent more time detailing the effects of World War I on French families, businesses and society in general.
Overall, The Wharf of Chartrons
is an emotional read about two men trying to break free of their traditional families, to carve out their own success in a corrupt business world, and to find the loves of their lives. If you appreciate fine wine and a French setting, then THE WHARFS OF CHARTRONS is the book for you.
About The Author:
Jean-Paul Malaval was a journalist before turning to a career as a writer of local photography books and later fiction. In 1982, he began what would become a long-term relationship with the publishing house Éditions Milan, in Toulouse. To date, Jean-Paul Malaval has written ten works of historical fiction, mainly based in the region where he grew up, the Corrèze, which is near the Dordogne. Five of his ten novels have been published by Presses de la Cité. He is loyal to his home region and has been mayor of the town of Vars-sur-Roseix in Corrèze since 1995.
This giveaway is open internationally, one print book for someone in the U.S. and on ebook for someone anywhere else in the world. Giveaway ends 8/21. Click Here To Enter The Giveaway.Thanks so much to France Book Tours for organizing this great tour. Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this tour. Click Here to view the full tour schedule and see the list of participating blogs.