by Jo Thomas
This is my third culinary adventure in the company of Jo Thomas and was everything I expected it to be: a fun, easy read and a perfect counterbalance to the stress and strains of everyday life.
If, like me, you read as much for pleasure as enlightenment, then writers like Jo Thomas are a perfect choice. In “Late Summer in the Vinyard” we have all the right ingredients: downtrodden heroin (Emmy Bridges), a captivating location (a French vineyard)and a couple of unlikely suitors (Isaac and Charlie).
Emmy is single, living at home with her widowed father and facing the prospect of eviction from the family home. She works (very badly) at a call centre and is on the very of losing her job when circumstances place her in the right place at the right time and she finds herself flying off to France to work with a new client, winemaker Charlie Featherstone.
In some ways, once the scene has been set and the characters set in motion, you can probably work out most of the plot yourself. What makes Jo Thomas’ so interesting is her obvious love and knowledge of food and drink. She manages to weave so much information into her narrative that I am beginning to wonder what comes first: the characters or the food.
Here we learn a little about French cuisine and a lot about winemaking. Each element of the book – the characters, the plot and the wine – are woven into a delightful tale. Jo Thiomas’ books have become something a guilty pleasure or would if I were in the least guilty about it.