The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox

Thoughts  tvlbek The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox, Farrar Straus and Giroux 1998, 284 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:  Maree at Just Add Books says this:

Fallen angel. Fallen angels are my fiction-crack.
Uhm … it’s beautiful, and sad, and an incredible and unlikely love story.
It has my second-favourite end line ever (after Lord of the Rings), which actually broke my heart a little bit, and now I have it memorised. And because of lines like this, which I’ve mentioned before: “The terms of the pact are this: ‘Xas shall go freely. God shall have his pains and Lucifer his pleasures’.”

How could I resist that?  And then again, in a Twitter conversation, she mumbles something about

the Vintner’s Luck is one of my favourites – the last line nearly killed me.

I was excited that the library had it on the shelves.   I read this for the New Zealand Challenge;  Knox is from NZ.

WHAT it’s ABOUT:    I’m going to cheat here and give the blurb from the book jacket:   “On a summer evening in 1808, Sobran Jodeau stumbles through his family’s vineyard in Burgundy, filled with wine and love sorrows.  As Sobran sways in a drunken swoon, an angel appears out of nowhere to catch him.”

The vintner and the angel make a pact to meet once a year and so begins a complicated life story spanning many years, multiple loves and strange encounters.

WHAT’s GOOD:    If I were to be asked give me three words that describe this book, I would give these:

Evocative.     Passionate.    Luscious.

WHAT’s NOT so GOOD:   Too much expectation!    I was totally absorbed into the lush world that Knox created and explained for Heaven and Hell – wow!    But I built it up too much, I think, and I will soon have to Twitter at Maree and have her explain it all.  What did I miss?    Why is the ending so great?    I mean, yea, it was fine and touching and meaningful…   but wowed?   I must have missed something.


I’m giving this FOUR pie slices because it was so very different for me – not my typical reading genre – and it was very beautiful.


16 thoughts on “The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox

  1. Well, four slices is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but I’m just not sure if this is a book for me. Of course, since there are about 50 billion sitting around this house that supposedly are for me, I’m thinking that’s probably more of a good thing than a bad thing.

  2. I do love the first line. Kinda curious what the last line is now…

    I don’t think I’ve read very many books about fallen angels, but I’m definitely intrigued by this!

    1. Hush, Hush is about fallen angels, too? Darn – I’ve been resisting that due to over marketing. Which is a silly reason since I’m hungry to read Hunger Games and Catching Fire…

  3. Ah … my ears are burning. 😛 What broke my heart a little bit in the last line, is the sheer wonder, and grief, in Xas’ voice. Like … he can’t believe he was even able to do this thing – it’s a small thing, really; but large at the same time, you know? Ugh. I’m not explaining myself very well. But yay, you liked it! 😀

Welcome! I invite you to comment. If for some reason commenting is troublesome, pls send email to BkClubCare [at] Gmail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s