Review: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave


Thinking about this novel makes the late afternoon sun wash over me like it does over Georgia’s family vineyard. Georgia goes home to the vineyard for comfort, but what she finds are more problems. It doesn’t matter though… she still relishes the love her family gives her in whatever way they can. 

Laura Dave sets a great scene and lays out emotion very well. I still can feel the brother and sister holding hands in forgiveness, the father picking grapes in the cool, dark, wee hours, and the fullness of music in Georgia’s mom. 

Georgia’s struggle with her fiancé’s past seemed very real to me. Here she is at her family’s vineyard, watching her family relationships change in big ways, and then she has to decide what kind of family she wants with her fiancé. Matters of the heart are not easily – or rationally – settled, but Georgia finds an inspired solution. 

My favorite character scene (because, truly, the descriptions of the land are so awesome that nothing compares) is at the end when Georgia makes a wise decision, filled with love for herself and her family. Eight Hundred Grapes wonderfully illustrates a happily ever after that isn’t too perfect or too sweet, but beautifully earned. 



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