AUDIOBOOK + BOOK REVIEW: Blush by Jamie Brenner #Blush #NetGalley @PutnamBooks @justjuliawhelan @PRHAudio

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons + Penguin Random House Audio

Release Date: June 22, 2021

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb

For decades, the lush vineyards and majestic manor house of the Hollander Estates winery made it the North Fork of Long Island’s premier destination for lavish parties and romantic day trips. Now the Hollander family fortunes have suffered, and as matriarch Vivian Hollander prepares for the arrival of her daughter and granddaughter for their annual summer reunion, she fears it might be their last. Worse, selling the family legacy to strangers might expose the dark secret she’s harbored for thirty-five years….

Visits to the winery have been bittersweet for Leah Hollander Bailey ever since her father refused to let her take her place in the family business. Now a successful Manhattan shop owner, Leah loves the life she’s built with her husband and daughter–but with her store, and her marriage, at a crossroads, she can’t help but view this year’s pilgrimage home as a sorely needed escape.

College senior Sadie Bailey has a thesis to write, and the towering shelves of the manor’s library offer endless academic inspiration. But when Sadie discovers evidence that her proper Grandma Vivian once ran a book club dedicated to the scandalous women’s novels of decades past, the shockingly outrageous tomes give her new insight into her family’s glory days.

Resurrecting the trashy book club begins as the distraction all three women need. But as they battle to save their birthright and heal old wounds, they just might find that the pages contain everything they need to know about how to fight for what they want–and for the life, and love, they deserve.

My Thoughts

Goodness gracious, Blush by Jamie Brenner is another book I waited way too long to finish and ended up completely adoring. I started out reading my digital copy as a buddy read with a friend but then had to set it aside for other ARCs. I left it sitting for quite a while and finally realized it was out which led me to the audiobook as I am prone to do. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found out it is narrated by my favorite narrator Julia Whelan! Obviously, I just had to listen to the entire thing even though I had been almost halfway done because every book is better when you listen to Whelan read it. Just like I knew she would, Whelan knocked it out of the park with her narration, and audiobook fans need to listen to it! I loved every single thing about this novel, the different characters, the viewpoints, the themes, and especially the vineyard, wine, and cheese. I love me a glass of wine, and it was fascinating to learn all of the different things that happen at a vineyard to turn those grapes into wine.

Most of all though, I loved the Hollander family even with all of their faults. Apparently, vineyards are a man’s world, and even though sexism abounds, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Leah’s dad. He was so stubborn and so set on being the provider, that he let that get in the way of what really matters – his family and the women in it. The “trashy” book club was so fun, and I loved the book within a book aspect. Blush immediately hooked me from the first page, and I really liked that the viewpoints alternate between Leah, her daughter Sadie, and her mother Vivian. I wasn’t mad that there were no male viewpoints, and this really was the perfect way to do it. I was already a huge fan of Brenner and I love her even more for giving us this beautiful novel of relationships and family. If you are a fan of wine drinking, family dramas, and/or powerful women, I highly recommend picking up Blush in whatever format you like.

MY RATING

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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