Thoughts 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.