A Good Year
By Peter Mayle
Random House Large Print, (June 1, 2004)
>From Peter Mayle, a wonderful new novel steeped in wine - and the business of wine - and set in, bien sūr, Provence.
Max Skinner is not exactly setting the London financial world on fire, and when his supervisor steals his biggest client, it's definitely time to inspect the vineyard in Provence that his recently departed uncle left him. Heartily and happily distracted upon his arrival by the landscape, the weather, and the food, not to mention the gorgeous notaire handling the estate and the stunning owner of the local bistro, Max almost forgets about his inherited property.
Which might have been a good idea, because the wine produced there is swill. But then why, Max has to wonder, is his caretaker so anxious to acquire the land? When a beautiful young woman from California arrives with what might be a legitimate claim on the estate - and knowledge of vineyards that far outstrips Max's own - the plot begins its twists and turns into and out of truly wonderful complications and resolutions.
This is luscious reading, soothing us with the sensual wonders of Provence while it tells a fascinating tale of the hugely lucrative and competitive boutique-wine trade. It is Peter Mayle's most satisfying, most delectable novel yet.