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It is clear that the author draws on her own memories and experiences as a child living on this idyllic island and she has also researched the period and characters in great detail. However the reader must remember that this is a fictional work depicting the lives of real people and Ms Hodes does not pretend that the thoughts and actions of the characters are those of the real people. This is a difficult balance to strike in such cases to be both engaging and interesting, without rewriting history. I loved this novel and probably read it too quickly in order to write this review!

The beauty of the island, the scenery and the way of life are captured in this well crafted piece. To be able to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and to taste the lemons used in the food and drink, for me indicates that the writing is descriptive and realistic.

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The pace is slow and charming, encapsulating the life being lead by both the Greek locals and the expat community of artists. Ordinary elements of life are catapulted into something extraordinary. Human relationships are central to this plot — those of lovers, spouses, the artist and muse, families, friends. These wonderful Greek ladies are recognised and praised for their devotion and hard work whilst in the employ of the expats — as maids, nannies and eventually becoming extended loved and trusted family.

They might have shaken their heads and not understood the way of life that these brightly coloured artists pursued, but they cared for them with wonderful home cooking, maintaining their homes and loving their children. Both men are writers are in this tale they share many traits — I am not sure whether they are typical of a writer or not, but have witnessed something of their emotion and devotion to their art in my own teenage daughter when she is drawing and painting.

Forgetting to eat, to being unable to concentrate on normal life and to pouring everything into the creative process. I found the dedication to their work both fascinating and bewildering in equal measures — yet I can understand the passion for work that one loves, as I was like this about head and neck cancer nursing and palliative care! I have read an article by one lady who knew these real people in the s and I do understand that some who were there might find it presumptuous to imagine the feelings and thoughts of real people, some still living.

But Ms Tamar is clear from the outset that this is a work of fiction, and in my opinion it deserves to be read slowly to immerse oneself in what is clearly a rather lovely work of literature. Five stars! May 14, Linda Hepworth rated it it was amazing. In this fictionalised account of the lives of a group of young artists, musicians and actors who lived on the Greek island of Hydra during the s, Tamar Hodes very skilfully uses a fictional couple, Jack and Frieda Silver, to tell the story of some of these real-life characters, who include a young Leonard Cohen, Marianne, the woman who becomes his muse, and authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift.

Jack and Frieda, accompanied by their two young children, join this lively, creative communi In this fictionalised account of the lives of a group of young artists, musicians and actors who lived on the Greek island of Hydra during the s, Tamar Hodes very skilfully uses a fictional couple, Jack and Frieda Silver, to tell the story of some of these real-life characters, who include a young Leonard Cohen, Marianne, the woman who becomes his muse, and authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift.

Jack and Frieda, accompanied by their two young children, join this lively, creative community, hoping to mend their broken marriage — but it soon becomes clear that dysfunction and complexity in relationships is not unique to them! From start to finish I loved this moving and beautifully written novel and immediately felt drawn into the lives of all the characters, both real and fictional. Whilst this is not a novel idea, this account is certainly a thought-provoking exploration into the process and raises the question about whether it is an almost inevitable consequence of it!

Another theme which emerged was an insight into the fact that the women artists, in whatever field, were usually less able to devote themselves to their creativity as fully as the men were …. I think that Tamar Hodes has written a gloriously beautiful, haunting and thought-provoking book which captures so vividly the massive social and artistic changes which took place in the s. As I was reading I was reminded of the wonderful travel-writing of Patrick Leigh Fermor because, as he did, she has managed to evocatively capture a significant period in history whilst also conveying her obvious love for this particular Greek island.

I think it is a book which will delight anyone who loves Greece and is nostalgic for the s! Sep 30, Tanya rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , historical-romance. This was happily, an unexpected read for me. I was drawn into the story and found myself researching the biographies of Leonard Cohen and his muse, Marianne Ihlen, as well as George Johnston and Charmian Clift. I even hoped some of the fictional characters were real. Perhaps they are based on real people?

While the shifting of POV Point of View —sometimes multiple times within a chapter or even within a page—caught me off guard, I quickly normalized this type of narration and enjoyed the story and the prose. The Water and the Wine is most definitely a treat for the brain. Centered around several couples living on the Greek island of Hydra, The Water and the Wine offers a snapshot of life for these erudite authors, painters, and musicians.

As is the stereotype in the sixties, the couples all engage in free love. Sometimes with and sometimes without the knowledge of their partner.

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Although the love affairs are not the only highlights of the story, they are influential ones. In essence, Hodes is able to create a cinematic story with her words. The words illustrate each page and bring the scenes to life. Sep 23, Joanne rated it liked it. The book is about lots of creative people living in an artists' community on island of Hydra. And by artists I mean painters, writers, musicians etc, people from all areas of the arts.

There are lots of characters to get your head around, some based on real people. It did take me a while to feel I knew who was who, especially since who was with who seemed to change one regular basis! The author has created an evocative picture of the beautiful surroundings, the boats on the sea, the flowers, the The book is about lots of creative people living in an artists' community on island of Hydra. The author has created an evocative picture of the beautiful surroundings, the boats on the sea, the flowers, the wildlife.

It seemed a realistic depiction of the Bohemian and hedonistic lifestyle. Freedom for some of the community meant not being bound by rules or responsibilities. But can this kind of lifestyle really work for everyone? With so many egos to appease it seemed not so easy to live and let live.


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The Water and The Wine gives an interesting glimpse into what life was like on Hydra at this significant period of time and with this eclectic mix of creative people. Oct 03, Cynthia rated it it was ok. The plot is very thin and the dialogue is particularly cringe-worthy, however, I give credit to the author for the effort. I faithfully read anything about Leonard Cohen that comes to my attention, although this is the first fiction I have come across.

Strictly for die-hard Cohen fans. Nov 21, Sirilee rated it liked it. I assume that living among the artists in Hydra she might recall some conversations, even though she was quite young at the time. Still pleasant reading, keeping in mind to treat the characters as fictional, not who they were. Aug 21, Vivien Baptiste rated it it was amazing. I sat on a beach on a small Greek island reading this.


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I love Leonard Cohen and never knew the story of Marianne from the song of the same name. Couldn't put the book down kindle. Captures an era and is moving. Made me nostalgic for the Sixties. I then googled Marianne. A love story. Jun 02, Pip Kirby rated it did not like it. Was a freebie from Kindle, but not worth finishing. Sep 03, Colin Dickinson rated it it was amazing. Coming or Cohen? Pictures in every line.

Beautifully crafted. I enjoyed the beauty of the mundane elevated into something special. More, more, encoure. Nov 07, Janet Ellis rated it it was amazing. Probably best described as factual-fiction. This was an emotive story which stayed with me for days after I had read the final pages. Steph rated it it was amazing Jul 23, Carla Kreklau rated it really liked it Aug 06, Lucy Reed rated it really liked it May 30, Keith Anderson rated it really liked it Sep 02, Christina Andrews rated it liked it Nov 23, Anna Pirintji rated it it was amazing Sep 04, Alison rated it liked it Jun 30, Lisca rated it really liked it Nov 23, Phaedra Hardman rated it it was amazing Jan 08, But this book and the story being told really is nothing special and nothing new.

Hopefully this will be the last gasp for this over-worked genre until someone has something genuinly new to say. Perhaps the next city professional selling up to become a vigneron will just get on with making great wine. Author: Chris Kissack Publisher: magbooks. It has the aesthetic quailities of a magazine too, from the glossy paper to the liberal use of colour. And talking of geeks, I need to declare an interest in that I have known author Bill Nanson for over a decade now.

A wine loving Yorkshire scientist working in Switzerland, Bill has been a wine-pages regular since its earliest days. Whilst Bill is still resolutely attached to his day job, his passion for the wines of Burgundy has grown incrementally, until now expressed through his Burgundy Report web site.

I was delighted to hear that Bill had been asked to write this book. He is someone not in, nor attached too closely to the wine trade, and is still a passionate amateur de vin at heart. In many ways that is what this most complex and at times frustrating of wine regions demands, and Bill has delivered a thoroughly researched and objective overview, written on the ground via his regular visits to the region. The meat of the book is the series of 90 in-depth profiles of the most interesting producers, new and established, large and small, each illustrated as always by plenty of evocative photography from Jon Wyand.

In all, this is a really welcome — but distinctly different — addition to the pantheon of Burgundy books from Anthony Hanson, Clive Coates, Jasper Morris and the rest. Well done the boy from Yorkshire. This magnum opus from wine-pages columnist Tom Stevenson has been a long time coming. After four years the 5th edition of his most comprehesive wine encyclopedia has appeared, completely revised and its pages are crammed as never before with minutely researched information. The book approaches the entire subject of wine based in geography, and is astonishingly detailed down to quite obscure regions and sub-regions.

Maps have been re-drawn to good effect, information updated and new sections added, but though mind-boggling in its thoroughness and comprehensive scrutiny of the world of wine, the book is never dull: Stevenson is one of our most generous and plain spoken wine communicators, so I rather enjoy the fact that he criticises and asks tough questions in a book that might otherwise be admirable, but dry. Stevenson is a passionate oenophile and has a most inquiring mind.

He is truly the perfect man for the job of making this an epic and essential reference work, and so much more. I really liked this book from Steve Hovington. Post-popdom, he has been a bit of a drifter maybe even a waster , settling for a decent if workaday life — reasonably content with his humble lot and fond of glass of wine of an evening. Suddenly however, a crazy idea takes hold and he grasps the chance for one last big adventure before looming middle age.

He want to make a wine. The book then chronicles this adventure, as he makes contact with a French family domaine that is willing to rent him a few rows and some facilities, and how Hovington spends a year in the Roussillon grappling with the challenges of being a first time winemaker. In all, this is a really enjoyable, feelgood read that I can thoroughly recommend. The latest in a now considerable volume of works published by The World of Fine Wine does not change the format of earlier titles in this series. The scene setting early chapters describe the fascinating development of the Rioja region, and its quality ups and downs, amply illustrated with maps and photographs.

Moving on from Rioja, Navarra, Bierzo, Galicia, and the Basque country are also covered in similar style, before the final chapters deal with vintages, wine and food and a run-down of the best restaurants in each region. A teaser which alone might be worth the modest price of the book. Yes there are tasting notes, but more importantly, a context is given for why each enjoyed that particulary bottle so much. So an array of wine makers, writers, merchants, marketeers and sommeliers reveals something of themselves through their choices.

The reasons given for each of the 29 choices run the gamut from the amusing to the heart-warming. In the world of self-publishing this book is unlikley to make her rich — but reading it might just enrich your life, for a little while at least. This is a curious book. But a suspected cardiac arrest in Washington DC caused him to reassess the frantic pace of his life and, along with his Argentine wife, Sonia, he decided to plant a vineyard in Mendoza and become a winemaker — just as the global downturn stacked all of the cards against him.

And therein lies the problem with this book: Smith adopts a cinematic device to tell his story by including many flashbacks to his past, triggered by events in the present. Both are fascinating stories, but for me the book loses all of its tension and much of its rhythm by this constant seguing between his various lives. It is not just his subject matter that changes constantly, but it seems to me his writing style and tone. The wine chapters really capture his obvious excitement and nervous anticipation, whilst he must present the political and war chapters with more gravitas and formality.

With amusing anecdotes from his past thrown in too, there are at least three separate books in here. As I say, a curious book, but one I still enjoyed reading. In a nice touch, restaurateur and wine-lover Patrick also recommends the best wines of the estates for you to enjoy whilst you are there. Highly recommended for those planning a visit to France. Then I saw his feelings about Chardonnay turn into biting satire and his views on scoring explode into righteous wrath, while all the time he was laughing — sometimes hysterically — and I laughed too.

Then I started to ponder. So, I promise, will you. Fabulous stuff, and a beautifully produced and illustrated book. But in that time he has also been a wine columnist and writer, and this excellent little paperback is an amusing and very easy to read collection of anecdotes and funny stories with a vinous bent. One of those terrific little books for dipping in and out of, it nevertheless is well-researched and reveals something surprising — even illuminating — on every page.

Immensely detailed, this book — as befits a Word of Fine Wine title — packs an enormous amount into its pages. Not only are both men extraordinarily knowledgeable writers, but they are passionate lovers of Champagne too, and in Michael Edwards case, of grower Champagnes in particular. He takes a terroir-based approach, moving geographically through the region, with 90 immensely detailed profiles of the best small growers.

These are as thoughtful as they are incisive, revealing something of the personalities behind the wines.

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Due space and respect is devoted to the great houses too of course, and for all there are tasting notes on the best wines and vintages. It left me anxious to discover these wines for myself. The new edition of the single most influential wine book in the known universe. Parker is a phenomenon: his seal of approval can make a winery, but even a mild expression of disappointment can have a devastating effect on sales — such is his influence.

Parker has broadened his horizons considerably with this edition, for the first time supplementing his usual focus on France and California to allow more than a brief paragraph or two on Austria, Australia and New Zealand. The Guide remains the essential reference work for those seeking guidance in buying or drinking fine wines. But Victoria Moore and her publishers have cracked it here, with a genuinely fresh approach that is not only entertaining, but informative and occasionally challenging. This is a book about drink — not just wine, and not just alcohol.

It attempts to give the liquid part of a meal, if not centre stage, then at least equal billing. Drinks in this book — from the best gin gimlet, to the best Mocha coffee, to the best wine with Manchego cheese — are always put in a context of the food to be eaten, the occasion to be marked or the season to be celebrated. Essentially it attempts to point you to the best, most authentic, most satisfying example of just about every drink in the known universe.

Moore guides you to the best rum and cigar combinations, how to make your own elderflower cocktail or the best white wines to drink with a platter of fruits de mer. The book is arranged in snappy sections and bite-sized sub-sections for easy dipping, but there is enough quality information to also give the book a meaty substance.

Well done Victoria Moore and Granta. The extensive updates hundreds of brand new entries and all remaining text completely revised must have been a massive task for Jancis Robinson and her expert team of contributors. This is an absolute bible for the serious wine enthusiast. More than 4, entries cover every aspect of wine, from history and evolution, to viticulture, to explanations of the most obscure technical wine terms. The book is fully illustrated with maps, technical diagrams and photographs. It is always digestible, despite the minute detail which some subjects deserve, and are given.

Given the TV series and book it would be easy to assume Monty Waldin is a work of fiction. So there is genuine enthusiasm for the subject and credibility for the main star here, yet nagging doubts remain — not just about this book — but about the whole project. Ostensibly Waldin is presented as a dreamer and a passionate advocate of organics and biodynamics, who is living the dream and putting his money — indeed his whole life — where his mouth is. He takes over a vineyard in the Roussillon, and sets about converting it to Biodynamic farming to make the best wine he can. My first problem is with the book itself, which falls somewhat uncomfortably between text-book and amusing autobiographical yarn.

That makes some of it seem contrived, like a whole treatise on biodynamism presented as a conversation between Monty and his girlfriend Silvana, that could simply have never have happened. So why Book of the Month? Well, despite all of this the book is a worthwhile read, and in bringing such an esoteric subject to a mainstream audience, is achieving something few other wine-related titles have managed.

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The Water and the Wine

The first double picture spread may be a detailed map of the wine region, but then the people, places and sights of Tokaji gain just as much importance. Food matching and vintage guideliines are all present and correct. The middle section of the book is a wine and food-related travel guide pure and simple, with practical advice, addresses and itineraries.

Finally, the producers are discussed in detail, with all their contact information, but also assessements of their operations and the wines produced. Remarkably comprehensive, there is also guidance on experiencing the best of Hungarian food and wine for the visitor to Budapest, and a suggested list of further reading. This is one of those boks that will obviously have most appeal to anyone planning a visit to the region, but it is highly readable in its own right.

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In these days of smartphones, Google, online maps and a host of travel-related web sites this book is somewhat old-fashioned, both in its concept, and its execution. It is massively detailed and meticullously researched, and somehow its proper, well-educated, and very English voice invokes the travel guides of a different era. Yet for all that, there is something deeply likeable about this book, as Fielden takes you on a journey through the vineyard roads of a France that he so obviously loves. From Alsace to Corsica, and from Bordeaux to Savoie, there are thorough chapters that will guide you through towns, villages and famous vineyards, with suggestions along the way of not only wineries to visit, but things to do, restaurant, hotels, and important historical and geographical attractions.

You will undoubtedly manage a summer holiday in the wine regions without this guide, but I can also throroughly recommend it as a useful and amiable companion, and who know — perhaps the last of a dying breed. It is a diet book — complete with eating plans and pages of recipes — but it is also an enthralling look at the particular properties of wine and their beneficial impact on health, and how that manifests itself in cultures around the world.

Corder gets down to specfics too, with a chapter of wine recommendations, country by country, where he rates regions, grapes, producers and even individual wines on his own one to five scale. Is this the holy grail for wine lovers? This US book is regarded as a classic in the States, and is one of the all-time best-selling wine books.

This new edition is being made available in the UK for the first time, and is a refreshing and welcome addition to the wine bookshelves. The book, a thorough course on understanding and appreciating wine, may be slightly US-centric in some of its material, but it is a terrific and successful wine course by any measure. Zraly peppers each page with nuggets of anecdote, information and amusing facts that not only make the book a breeze to work through, but cleverly instil lots of knowledge as you do so.

This is a worthwhile follow-up to Wine and War, though perhaps with a slightly narrower appeal. But Robert Parker is no ordinary critic, and more ink has been spent analysing him, than all other wine tasters put together. Is it unbiased? But this intelligent and searching book paints a vivid picture of the man that is not always flattering, and looks at how a changing world of wine created Parker, before Parker went on to change the world of wine. In this case we swap the fictional Miles, for the factual Dingwall-Main, a highly successful landscape garden designer living and working in France for the past seven years.

Dingwall-Main is at a crossroads in his life: not certain that his life in France was what he really wanted, and flirting with a professional and emotional mid-life crisis one suspects. The client suggests that Dingwall-Main gets on the road, to discover more about the gardens of France, wine, the French way of life and, ultimately, himself. His challenge is to fill the case with one bottle each from his most memorable visits, upon which the client will meet him, pay for the wine, and drink it with him.

There follows a diary of the journey, which is full of amusing stories and beautiful evocations of the gardens featured. A very readable book, with a poignant sting in its tail. What a coincidence that this fascinating pair of books about Middle Eastern wines should appear within a few months of each other, even though the books themselves are like chalk and cheese. It will be an annual edition. Yes, it has introductory chapters that briefly tell the history of wine production in Israel, but the meat of this book is given over to explaining the current state of play for wine in Israeli culture, and then on to assessments of all the producers, small, medium and large, and detailed assessments of their current vintages, complete with tasting notes and scores.

David Bird is an analytical chemist who joined the wine trade in the s, graduating as a Master of Wine in This book is very well-constructed, and the breakdown of its myriad topics into concise, digestible chunks of no more than a page or two each is extremely well thought through. This is not a book that looks at the philosophical or moral impact of wine technology. Though contentious subjects like reverse osmosis and cork taint are covered in some depth, it is in the context of factual, explanatory information.

It is a very nicely produced book, and I found plenty of interest on evey page. Her focus in each, was wine of course, and visits to a multitude of producers in dozens of Tuscan regions form the core of the book. This is expert guidance and assessment at its most open and accessible. It is an exhaustive and extraordinary compilation for those with a serious interest in wine litertature.

This new guide is a fabulous production.