Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Author: Kathryn Borel

There are times when you find a book that just hits home. For me Corked is one of those books. This simple memoir of a father/daughter trip to the French wine country hit me hard.

It is the story of a final trip of an older, father, who (although it is never stated) is ill and this is the last trip that he and his daughter take. Their relationship vacillates between a loving father and daughter and that embarrassment that we feel when our parent does or says something that's not quite "correct." Since my dad is in his mid-80's and not in good health (and embarrasses the hell out of me when we go out), the connection with the Kathryn Borel and her dad really hit home.

Oh, and did I mention that the book takes place in the French wine country? Those who know me (either IRL or via Champagne Living) know that I'm a Francophile, spending as MUCH time as I can in Paris as well as Amboise (and the rest of the Loire Valley), so the connection with this book was INTENSE.

Familial love is shown in so many ways, but what this book really drives home is that even in those moments of embarrassment and awkwardness that when we allow them to be themselves, we really show that we love the other person. Being able to put up with and understand that this is WHO the person is and that it's really no reflection on YOU, shows that you really care.

Now that I've told you my CONNECTION to this book...let me tell you a little background.

Kathryn and her Dad Philippe (a retired hotelier) and WINE expert spend a vacation together in the wine country of France (I already said that  -  shoot, repeating myself, hope my son finds that endearing when I'm older). Her dad has spent most of his life studying wine, collecting vintage bottles, etc. Over the years he's tried to teach Kathryn, but unfortunately it really never "stuck."

This trip is one of those bonding experiences, that is initially FORCED, because Kathryn wants to connect so badly with her dad. They travel throught Alsace, the Languedoc region, Burgundy and Cotes du Rhone in a CAR (always good for a little tension). I absolutely love that Philippe (and eventually Kathryn) describe wine is quite unusual - it's almost literary and emotional,without the usual earmarks of a tasting.

For a first book, Ms. Borel did a wonderful job of allowing us to connect with she and her father. Funny yet emotional, Corked pops with insight. I can't WAIT to see what she's got planned next.

Corked: A Memoir  is available for purchase at Amazon.com for $16.31.

Thank you to Hachette for providing me with a copy for this book review. I was in no way compensated for this post and all opinions are strictly my own.

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