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A Good Year    by Peter Mayle order for
Good Year
by Peter Mayle
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Peter Mayle's love affair with France has spilled over onto the printed page. When I read his first book, A Year in Provence, I too fell in love with Peter Mayle's France. A Good Year is his ninth book, his fifth novel. To my mind, it's not his best, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Max Skinner, struggling with his life in London, inherits his uncle's struggling vineyard in France. Deciding to take this chance at starting over, he settles in. Mayle's writing reflects his immersion in the expatriate life. Charmingly so. The wonderful characters who populate his books are people I would like to meet - Skinner's day help, Madame Passepartout, is worth a volume just to herself.

A Good Year introduces the viniculture novice to just what it takes to plant, grow and harvest the grape. But Mayle doesn't stop there. He continues with the production of wine, as well as the selling and buying processes. Now satiated with wine facts, I will appreciate even more than usual that first quaff of lovely liquid in my long-stemmed crystal.

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