Book Review: Champagne Widows

To be honest, i received a complimentary copy of this book. I will attempt to be complimentary.

When one thinks of bubbles, one has an instant image in their mind. For me its a distinctive gold/orange label. Yes, Verve Clicquot.

Unfortunately, Rebecca Rosenberg failed to impress me with her impression of Barbe-Nicole’s tumultuous life, with Champagne Widows, The story of Veuve Clicquot, the first woman of Champagne. (more)

Perhaps I had been spoiled by Tilar Mazzeo’s book The Widow Clicquot, The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It. (more) I found Mazzeo’s book to be an in-depth well written historical account.

Rosenberg delivers the beach version of the story – that’s not to say its a bad book – just a bit more storyline driven than historical account.

I agree with other Goodread’s reader reviews that at times the story seem forced and that some of the transitions are hard to follow. This is more a work of historical fiction than it is a biography of the Widow Clicquot’s life.

Again, as in my previous review, I would encourage Rosenberg to include some sort of reference or bibliography of sources to support the writing. I fear that those with no notion of the history of champagne will take some of fiction as truth. If that was Rosenberg’s intention, then it was well met.

However, if she aims to outline the lives of the champagne widows on more than a superficial level, then the research should be shared.

Final Thoughts

If you want an easy read by the pool with a bottle of something bubbly then this novel is for you. I essentially spent an afternoon reading it, despite its flaws. I didn’t want to put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. However, if I was asked for a book on the Widow Clicquot – this would not be my first choice for a serious reader.

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