For heartbroken Nicole Clicquot, running the winery her husband left behind is the only chance she has to keep a roof over her head and provide a future for her little girl. She won’t listen to the gossips who insist that the rolling fields of chalk soil are no place for a woman.
But as the seasons change, bringing a spoiled harvest and bitter grapes, the vineyards are on the brink of collapse. Without her husband’s oldest friend, travelling merchant Louis, she’d truly be lost. No one else would stay up all night to help count endless rows of green bottles deep in the cellars, or spread word far and wide that Nicole makes the finest champagne he’s ever tasted. One magical night, as a shooting star illuminates their way under a velvet sky, Nicole gazes up at his warm smile and wonders if perhaps she doesn’t need to be quite so alone…
But when Louis shrinks from her touch after returning from a long trip abroad, Nicole fears something is terribly wrong. And as an old secret about her husband – that only Louis knew – spreads from the cobbled village streets all the way to the Paris salons, her heart and fragile reputation are shattered. Was she wrong to put her trust in another man? And with Napoleon’s wars looming on the horizon, can she find a way to save her vineyards, her home, and her daughter from ruin?
Fans of Chocolat, Carnegie’s Maid, Dinah Jeffries and anyone longing to sip champagne under the stars will adore this stunning historical read, inspired by the true story of how Nicole Clicquot blazed her own path to build the world’s greatest champagne house: Veuve Clicquot.
Read what everyone’s saying about The French House:
'Extraordinary. Outstanding... absolutely amazing... just wow!... this book is exquisite. Absolute perfection. A masterpiece. One of my favourite reads ever... one of the finest books out this year and one of the best historical fiction reads ever.’ Renita D’Silva, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Wow! What a story… transports you… I was captivated… I found myself reading late into the night… extraordinary… so moving and totally enthralled me… will stay with me for a long time.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A fascinating book… very heartwarming… I found this book very hard to put down and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Beautifully written, fascinating novel… comes alive on the pages… wonderful… extra special.’ Angela Petch, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘What a treat… emotional… An excellent read.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Instantly and completely immersed me in a beautiful romance, heartbreak and the passion of Madame Clicquot…. The author’s ability to whisk me away to the vineyards of post-Revolutionary France and bring to life a feisty, determined heroine who blazed her own path in a man’s world is extraordinary.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Wow! An incredible historical novel… All the feels.’ Chaos Happiness Book Mama, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Vivid and wonderful… a lovely book.’ The Writer's Workout