From the author of the “engrossing” (People) and “poignant” (Booklist) international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie comes a remarkable and moving story of love, danger, and betrayal: two women in France in the darkest days of World War II and another in present-day America on a quest to uncover the secret that connects them.
At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.
But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe—least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.
Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents—and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about—and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save.
In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job—and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network, The Winemaker’s Wife is an evocative and gorgeously wrought novel that examines how the choices we make in our darkest hours can profoundly change our lives—and how hope can come from the places we least expect.
Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie and The Sweetness of Forgetting, along with several other novels. Her work has been featured in People, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets. She lives in Orlando, Florida.
"Harmel's engrossing latest reminds us that love, like resistance, begins with courage."
“Set against all the danger and drama of WWII Paris, this heartfelt novel will keep you turning the pages until the very last word.”
– New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe
"Reminiscent of The Nightingale and The Map of the Heart, Kristin Harmel's THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE is an emotional, heart-breaking, inspiring tribute to the strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love."
– NYTimes bestselling author Mariah Stewart
"The strong and courageous inhabitants of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE occupied all my time until the tender and powerful final pages. Beautifully written, Kristin Harmel’s latest is an unforgettable exploration of love and hope during the darkest of moments."
– Amy E. Reichert, author of The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
“Harmel writes a poignant novel based loosely on the true story of an American woman who helped on the Comet Line, which rescued hundreds of airmen and soldiers. This compelling story celebrates hope and bravery in the face of evil.”
"Harmel injects new life into a well-worn story in this hopeful three-voiced tale about the struggle to find normalcy amid the horrors of WWII... Harmel’s emotionally fraught story hammers home the message that each person has a unique opportunity to stand against injustice. This is a celebration of those, like Ruby, who found the courage to face life head-on."
– Publishers Weekly
“Harmel’s latest novel overlaps somewhat with recent book club favorites Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls… recommended for fans of World War II historical fiction.”
– Library Journal
"Richly detailed and yet fast-paced, Harmel’s story flows at remarkable depth, as ordinary citizens rise to the challenge of extraordinary circumstances in occupied France. A fascinating exploration of the escape routes set up for downed Allied pilots, readers will be swept up in this heart-wrenching drama."
– Juliette Fay, author of The Tumbling Turner Sisters
"A story of courage and love in unimaginable circumstances."
– bestselling author Barbara Taylor Sissel
"Harmel...authentically weaves American history into this engaging novel. An appealing family saga that connects generations and reaffirms love.”
– Kirkus Reviews on WHEN WE MEET AGAIN
"Centering on a lesser-known facet of American history, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN is a gripping novel of history, art, and the power of love. Kristin Harmel’s work is always riveting but her storytelling reaches new heights with a tale that is layered, complex, and satisfying to the last page."
– bestselling author Michelle Gable on WHEN WE MEET AGAIN
"The latest from Harmel...is an affecting tale about finding happiness amid grief and guilt. Some twists are telegraphed early in the novel, but that doesn’t diminish the satisfying conclusion."
– Booklist on THE LIFE INTENDED
“Kristin Harmel writes with such insight and heart that her characters will stay with you long after you’ve finished her books.”
– New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin on THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING
“Kristin Harmel...[is] one of my favorite authors!”
– bestselling author Melissa Senate on THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING