Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

I don’t know how I came across this book, but being a mood reader my brain tells me when I’m ready to read a book. For some reason, I wanted to read this book so I borrowed it from the library. It immediately downloaded to my kindle and I couldn’t put it down until I was done.

Here’s more about the book

23492613Growing 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…


Imagine where you’ve got your whole life set up for you. You’re about to get married to a great guy. You’re about to move to London which is such a great adventure. Everything is sort of working out until you see your fiancee walking down the street with another woman and her kid. It’s then you realize the kid is your fiance’s and everything seems to fall tumbling down to reality.

So what do you do then? Run home to your family’s vineyard in Sonoma County.

I flew through this book. It was definitely a compulsive read with funny quips and anecdotes that keep you reading.

I think my favorite part about this whole book was the wine. I loved hearing the process from growing the grapes to making wine throughout the story. It really solidified how important wine is to this family and despite their issues, it’s always the first thing that they look to for a little reality check.

Which is exactly what Georgia does in this book. When her fiance appears with a kid he never mentioned, Georgia gets herself back up to her family’s winery in hopes of making some sense in her life. However, when she gets there she realizes that her family all have something going on.

I think that’s what the vineyard was playing here. It’s almost a truth serum where her family can return and see the truth behind their secrets. It delves into the idea that when you leave home, you’re a different person. The world shapes you to adapt to whatever surrounds you. It changes you, but the fundamental truths of your world always appears when you go home.

For Georgia and her family, that’s exactly what happens. They return to the vineyard that shaped their entire lives and from there, they learn to become the people they were before they all left. It’s kind of sweet and endearing when you think of it that way.

What I’m a little miffed by and honestly this is because of my personality, but I found it weird that Georgia wasn’t okay with her parents being separated the way they were. One quote read:

Apparently when your parents split up, it didn’t matter if you were a grown-up, it turned you into a five-year-old again: wanting them to promise you that everything was going to be okay.

So weirdly, I didn’t like this because I think at some point in everyone’s life they realize that your parents are human beings with feelings and issues on their own. If splitting up while their grown adult children are out of the house and on their own makes sense, then why not do it? Why not let your parents live out the dreams and wishes they also have especially when they’re much older?

I could get upset by the predictability of the story, but that’s really just the fun of it. I can’t fault a book for being predictable especially when it’s not the major part of the story.

But all in all, a good summer read. It’ll get you in the mood for wine and maybe even a phone call home.

Simone and Her Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way affects my opinion of the above book.

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