In the summer of 1914, vigneron Jerome Méa heads off to war, certain he’ll be home by Christmas. His new bride Sophie, a fifth-generation and rebellious champenoise, is determined to ensure the forthcoming vintages will be testament to their love and the power of the people of Épernay, especially its strong women. But as the years drag on, authorities advise that Jerome is missing, considered dead.
When poison gas is first used in Belgium by the Germans, British chemist Charles Nash jumps to enlist. After he is injured, he is brought to Reims, where Sophie has helped to set up an underground hospital to care for the wounded. In the dark, ancient champagne cellars, their stirring emotions take them both by surprise.
While Sophie battles to keep her vineyard going through the bombings, a critical sugar shortage forces her to strike a dangerous bargain with an untrustworthy acquaintance – but nothing will test her courage more than the news that filters through to her about the fate of her heroic Jerome.
It’s always a treat when a new Fiona McIntosh book hits the shelves. Her ability to lift us out of the ordinary and into her extraordinary settings is something that I’ve come to love when reading her novels. With bestsellers like The Pearl Thief and The Lavender Keeper, its no secret that Fiona is a master of her craft. From the killing fields of Ypres to the sun-kissed vineyards of southern France, The Champagne War is a heart-stopping adventure about the true power of love and hope to light the way during war.
The way Fiona captures the hopeful nature of Sophie and Charles’ relationship is truly memorable. Sophie is a resilient and inspiring character who takes on something bigger than herself while dealing with her own struggles of grief and loss.
Fiona also gives us a look into the world of champagne, which was fascinating and showcases her expertise and research.
This is a strikingly original story that captures themes of love, loss, hope and resilience. It’s a must-read for anyone looking for a sweeping historical fiction novel. With its polished prose and splendid character work, The Champagne War is another spectacular read from Fiona McIntosh. Pour a glass of bubbly and curl up with this today.