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A Bordeaux Dynasty: A NovelFrançoise Bourdin (Author)
This is a novel of a family dynasty of wine makers. As the novel begins, the family is gathering for the summer, to culminate in the harvest. Aurelien, the patriarch, runs the vineyard with an iron fist. He has little patience for anything else in his life. He has 4 grown sons. Louise-Marie, has become a journalist and is beginning to write his first novel. He is married to Pauline, and they have a young daughter. They live in Paris. Robert is a surgeon and the medical director of a large hospital in Paris. He is single, but hopelessly in love with Pauline whom he was dating prior to her marriage to Louis-Marie. Alexander lives at the vineyard, Fonteyne, in an estate cottage, with his wife, Dominique, and their twin sons. Aurelien's youngest son, Jules, was adopted at a young age under mysterious circumstances. Jules has charm, good looks, and a drive to make Fonteyne continue it's proud history of wine-making. He is Aurelien's right-hand man, and is gradually taking over more and more of the operation of Fonteyne.
And thus the machinations of a major dysfunctional family begins. The novel takes place in recent time, but the exact time-period is never stated. The beauty of the region, and especially Fonteyne, is elegantly described. The characters are well-defined. The story is well-written.
BUT, I did not enjoy this novel. Most of the characters were deeply narcissistic and hurt each other at every turn. Father and three of the sons were horrible womanizers, never caring for the feelings or well-being of the many women they bed. And there was no responsibility toward spreading disease or creating children. I simply did not like the characters. I would not socialize with anyone who behaved this way, and, felt that all the various calamities that occurred were just consequences for their irresponsible behavior. I would not have finished reading the book if I had not made a commitment to review it.
I recognize that I have a specific perspective about people, and that others with a different moral compass may very well enjoy this story. But from my perspective, I give this novel 3 stars.