The Vintner's Luck
Unlucky Number 13. Or not.
I found this book in a strange shop in Akaroa, New Zealand which sold everything from gollywogs to fudge. I was keen to read a book by a Kiwi author and my sister suggested Elizabeth Knox. I had hoped to read a book set in New Zealand, but in fact The Vintner's Luck is set in the vineyards of 19th Century France.
I am really loathe to even mention this book in the same sentence as One Day, let alone compare the two as though they were equals but the basic premise is the same.
When he is 18, Sobran Jodeau gets drunk, and stumbles across an angel, from there Sobran and the angel Xas meet each year on one day, the 27th of June for many years.
When I initially attempted to read this book, carting it from motel to motel, I found it odd, and couldn't get into it. Though its chronological, the jump from June to June made it feel disjointed as though a natural progression was missing. However, I decided that in my iPad addiction I had left paperbacks I had bought unloved and unfinished and decided I should finish them before getting any more electronic books.
I'm glad I did, the initial oddness i felt faded the more I read it, and I came to feel passionately that this was a book of beauty, a gem with a lyrical, magical quality to it. It's uniqueness and originality in every respect seems to make it defy normal descriptions. The juxtaposition of the human and the divine, the elements that seem to be inspired by Paradise Lost. The warm believable love, the dark secrets and mysteries, the allusions to insanity and even to evil, make this book although couched in the reality of wine production seem like a fairytale for adults, and an extraordinary one that.
I tend to like anything that inspires theological or philosophical thought, and whilst I recognise this isn't for everyone, I still think there's so much more to The Vintner's Luck , something for everyone. I would tell anyone turned off by the idea that it is about an angel, and therefore possibly religious to think again, as by not reading it for that reason you would be losing out on what I felt was a rich even sensual experience.
Read this book. 10/10