Today I am happy to say I am on the tour for Champagne Widows by Rebecca Rosenberg for @Bookandwinelovers. Thanks to Rebecca Rosenberg for my copy of the book.
Champagne, France, 1800.
Twenty-year-old Barbe-Nicole inherited Le Nez (an uncanny sense of smell) from her great-grandfather, a renowned champagne maker. Determined to use Le Nez to make great champagne, she learns her childhood sweetheart, François Clicquot, wants to start a winery and marries him despite his mental illness.
Her husband’s tragic death forces her to become Veuve (Widow) Clicquot and grapple with a domineering partner, the complexities of making champagne, and six Napoleon wars, which cripple her ability to sell champagne. When she falls in love with her sales manager, Louis Bohne, who asks her to marry, she must choose between losing her winery to her husband, as dictated by Napoleon Code, or losing Louis.
In the ultimate showdown, Veuve Clicquot risks imprisonment and even death, defying Napoleon himself.
I love historical fiction, but I must say I don’t know much about French history in any way, shape, or form. Champagne Widows is a book that I found balanced historical history with fiction so well that I was drawn into the story as I read the first couple of chapters.
Told over a dual timeline that focuses on Barbe-Nicole and the vineyard. It is intriguing, funny, and it even brings some suspense. I must say I was captivated by this book to the point I struggled to put the book down.
A book that educated me at the same time as entertaining me. I enjoyed learning the impact of the Napoleonic Wars upon the country and the women left behind. Discovering the history of Champagne was very interesting for me, and Rebecca Rosenberg has interwoven these historical facts expertly into the story, so the reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed with facts and figures.
Her characters are vividly drawn, and Barb-Nicole is someone who I was right behind as she struggles her way through. A woman who is forward thinking and truly modern, I enjoyed the time I spent with her as I worked my way through the book. The author’s sense of place is perfect. I was there in France with Barb-Nicole. The descriptions are so rich and evocative that I could imagine the countryside and the Vineyard. As war arrives, Rebecca Rosenberg conjures a heavy sense of fear and dread that would be normal in these circumstances as well.
In conclusion, a highly immersive historical fiction novel that captivates and educates without making it obvious at any point, a beautiful novel.
Follow award-winning novelist, champagne geek, and lavender farmer. Rebecca first fell in love with methode champenoise in Sonoma Valley, California. Over decades of delicious research, she has explored the wine cellars of France, Spain, Italy, and California in search of fine champagne.
Book available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon and bookshop.org
When Rebecca discovered the real-life stories of the Champagne Widows of France, she knew she’d dedicate years to telling the stories of these remarkable women who made champagne the worldwide phenomenon it is today. Rebecca is a champagne historian, tour guide, and champagne cocktail expert for Breathless Wines. Other award-winning novels include The Secret Life of Mrs. London and Gold Digger, the Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.
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Lion Heart Publishing (March 1, 2022)
Historical Fiction, Women’s Literature Fiction
“Meet the woman who created world-class champagne. Lovers of French culture, romance, and history will relish the layered plot and characters.” -Johnnie Bernhard, author of Sisters of the Undertow
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