Have you ever picked up a book because it looked like something you'd enjoy... only to find out that you saw the movie a year or two ago? Well, that happened to me!
It took me a few chapters into A Good Year
to figure it out. I kept feeling like this story was familiar.
Well, it was familiar with good reason. The movie was out awhile ago and starred Russell Crowe as the main character. What I usually find is that if I see a movie first, I don't enjoy the book as much. In this case, I enjoyed the book more than I did the movie.
I don't think Russell Crowe was the right fit for the character after reading the book. I also found that once I got past the initial chapters that the movie really went in a different direction than the book, which is really a shame because the original story was more enjoyable.
The reason I chose this book was because I had really enjoyed Peter Mayle's memoir, A Year in Provence. I had really enjoyed the way he described the life and food in Provence.
I found the first few chapters a little slow going, but the the backstory was somewhat necessary to see where the main character, Max, is coming from in his life. He's essentially hit rock bottom in his career and life in London when he is told that his uncle has died and left him his home in the French countryside.
This opens up an opportunity for him to start over, but as with anyone starting anew it's not easy going. He finds that the man who has been handling the grape harvesting and winemaking for his uncle is unsure of what his former employer's nephew is up to - he would like to maintain the status quo.
There is a colorful cast of characters from the town that are vividly described and helps you understand why Max falls for life in this town. From the winemaker and his wife to Max's friend from London who seems to only be interested in selling real estate, each person adds a bit more flavor to this book.
What have you read lately? I've got a few more books to share over the next few weeks, and I'd love to hear what you've enjoyed so I can add more to my list over at Good Reads.
Note: The links in this post will take you to Amazon where you can find more information on the book. If you choose to make a purchase via this link, I will receive a small referral fee.
Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.