The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah, review by Shelly Walston
Like the wine she knows so dearly, Kate's story is layered; it has memories that fill the nose like a fragrant bouquet and memories that bite and threaten to ruin the balance she's managed to strike between work, life, and her family's past.
In preparation for her Master of Wine test - a test only the most talented can pass - Kate travels to her family's domaine in the Burgundy region of France to better acquaint herself with white wines. It's a place she hasn't visited in over a decade, and there she uncovers a family mystery that could mean ruin or triumph - but either way promises a revelation. Along with her sister-in-law Heather and a cast of characters as rich as the soil from which the vines grow, Kate unearths the story of a lost great-aunt and the German occupation of France during World War II.
Weaving journal entries from her great-aunt Helene's diary during the years leading up to and following the German occupation with Kate's present-day discoveries, Ann Mah transports the reader to both a time and a place. The Lost Vintage is satisfying to the last drop - the last page - the last realization that family history can mean more than the stories we choose to remember.
For readers who enjoyed Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty and BA Shapiro's The Muralist.