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Canadian-born journalist Kathryn Borel took a trip through the French countryside with her hotelier wine-expert father, Philippe. For twenty-something Kathryn, the trip was supposed to be a learning experience as well as a way to show her father that she had reached adulthood. For Philippe, the trip not only was a return to his native land but was also a way to share his wine knowledge with his daughter.
In reality, this memoir is not so much about wine and France but more about Kathryn's failed relationships and lingering depression over a past tragedy. Both she and her father come off as selfish and self-indulgent, and neither is particularly mature. Further, we learn very little about the vintners, vineyards, and wines, which seem almost an afterthought.
Although I was disappointed with Corked, other readers may have an easier time relating to Kathryn and Philippe's rocky relationship. And if they do, they may also find satisfaction in what was clearly meant to be a redemption scene near the end of the memoir. For me, it was a matter of too little, too late. Note that both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly were more positive about the memoir, so if you're curious, give it a try.
I'll leave you with Kathryn's big revelation about tasting wine:
Well, mostly I figured out that it's impossible to force a connection--that sometimes, if I'm not in the right mood, no matter how great the wine is, there's very little chance that it'll have any impact. (p. 258)Published by Hachette Book Group / Grand Central Publishing, 2009
Source: Review (see review policy)
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