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The Lost Vintage

A Novel
By: Ann Mah
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.0 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this pause-resisting novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II.

To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examination. She’s failed twice before; her third attempt will be her last chance. Suddenly finding herself without a job and with the test a few months away, she travels to Burgundy to spend the fall at the vineyard estate that has belonged to her family for generations. There she can bolster her shaky knowledge of Burgundian vintages and reconnect with her cousin Nico and his wife, Heather, who now oversee day-to-day management of the grapes. The one person Kate hopes to avoid is Jean-Luc, a talented young winemaker and her first love.

At the vineyard house, Kate is eager to help her cousin clean out the enormous basement that is filled with generations of discarded and forgotten belongings. Deep inside the cellar, behind a large armoire, she discovers a hidden room containing a cot, some Resistance pamphlets, and an enormous cache of valuable wine. Piqued by the secret space, Kate begins to dig into her family’s history - a search that takes her back to the dark days of World War II and introduces her to a relative she never knew existed, a great-half-aunt who was a teenager during the Nazi occupation.

As she learns more about her family, the line between resistance and collaboration blurs, driving Kate to find the answers to two crucial questions: Who, exactly, did her family aid during the difficult years of the war? And what happened to six valuable bottles of wine that seem to be missing from the cellar’s collection?

©2018 Ann Mah (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

“If you enjoyed my Sarah’s Key and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, then this wonderful book by Ann Mah is for you.” (Tatiana de Rosnay, author)

What listeners say about The Lost Vintage

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  • weather wise
  • 20-11-2019

Need to know French to understand this book.

Too many French words and phrases makes it hard for this book to be an easy listen. Good story, though.

44 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Maritz
  • 08-08-2018

Splendid

An absolutely delightful read. I was captivated by the story from beginning to end and charmed by the beautiful prose making the story so tangible that I could taste and feel it!

31 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Miller
  • 09-09-2018

good strong characters

and not entirely predictable. not sure why the narrator read the dates in half French and half English. that was strange.

26 people found this helpful

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  • emily s
  • 22-01-2019

good book, terrible narration

It was definitely an interesting and exciting book, but I hated the airy, breathless voice of the narrator, not to mention her terrible accents, which made me focus on how annoyed I was that her South African accent sounded more like a drunk Scott. Would have been much better to read on my own than listen to

37 people found this helpful

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  • Yvonne
  • 16-12-2018

Returned due to narration

The overall story-line could possibly have held my full attention but the questionable effects of breath sounds after speaking with a strong french tonation was quite challenging for me to give it attention. I attemped a few times to listen but rebounded when I found myself drifting from the story line. This may be one of the very few reviews that is not very positive but for me I could not finish this audible. The ratings for "Overall" and "Story" were scored not having listened to the entire audio.

56 people found this helpful

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  • R G Hart
  • 25-02-2019

South African accent

Ms Maarleveld has her Australian and South African accents mixed up, as well as adding some other unrecognisable sounds, all of which makes for some seriously grating dialogue.

35 people found this helpful

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  • D. Thomas
  • 30-09-2019

Noto what I thought it would be

By the write up I thought this was a book that was a must listen. I tried several days in a row. Stopped for a while. Started up for another couple of day. I can't do it. The voice of the narrator is just about putting me over the edge. I hate saying that, too. I'm sure she is a lovely narrator with any other book, but this one is a no. Sorry. Couldn't do it.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Mona-Alisa
  • 07-11-2018

WWll Historical Fiction

This is my genre. I needed a break from the very graphic stories of Nazi’s and the horrendous concentration camps. Yet I wanted to stick to the genre. My last book was too fairytalish. The Lost Vintage was just right. Mostly set in modern day France with a discovery of ancestral things hidden in the cellar the protagonist must learn what happened to her ancestors during the Nazi occupation of France.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Bonnie
  • 13-10-2018

Passion of Nightingale with an education on wine

Beautifully and passionately written, a historical glimpse of life in Burgundy in the present, tied to the horrors of the past. The lasting beauty of the wine connecting the two. Great narration also!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn Maycumber
  • 23-12-2018

Meh.

Interesting plot idea but sometimes seemed melodramatic. Could’ve been the narrator. However, the characters and their behaviors were predictable.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 17-12-2018

Wine ,war and life in France

Firstly I really do not like American narrators, but Saskia Maarleveld has restored my faith. Her narration was exemplary, I live in France and her pronunciations were excellent, she had a good repertoire of accents as well as male and female voices. The story is as the description so I will not bore you. It went back and forth from the 1940s to present day, but did so without you feeling lost and having to rewind. It’s a good uncomplicated listen .

1 person found this helpful