Burgundy and Lies

Carol A.

Abbie is an orphan in rural France. Lucky enough to be wanted by her uncle’s family, she wants to be the vintner her father trained her to be. Her father’s vineyards and her uncle’s mustards are so desired that the most powerful shipping family in Marseilles wants a marriage between her cousin, Babette, and their eldest son.  Babette has other plans, selfish ones. And Abbie is the one who pays, all the way to Marseilles. Jean-Marc wants to bring his brother a bride so he can travel the world. But Abbie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. Can he really give her up?


Ms. Strickland claims this is her first historical novel, wow! If this is a historical debut, then all others should cower in fear and throw in the towel. Not only is the country-side beautifully rendered, never over-done, but the knowledge of grapes, vines, vineyards and how they were cared for during the Middle Ages is mind-bogglingly clear and surprisingly interesting. The reader will scream in frustration as Abbie, a pillar of strength, caves time and time again to fate and the will of God, and allows herself to be talked into situations no modern woman would stand for. But that’s the beauty of her character – it is so perfectly in tune with just how a strong woman would have acted in that place and time, where family is everything, women had no say, and belief in God’s fate is paramount. There is no running away, no standing her ground regardless of familial responsibility, and yet, there is the ultimate happy ending - for everyone. Bravo, Ms. Strickland!


Julie York