Sharing a bottle of Beaujolais leads to 1950s Paris for four time-travelling friends in Antoine Laurain’s charming novel, Vintage 1954.
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I received a copy of Vintage 1954* for review
Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Antoine Laurain’s latest novel Vintage 1954. I’ve previously reviewed, and loved, The Portrait* so I was really looking forward to reading Laurain’s new book.
Normally the only after-effect of drinking a bottle of red wine is a bit of a hangover. But when Hubert shares a particularly fine bottle of Beaujolais with some of the other residents of his Parisien apartment building, they all find that the effects are rather more unusual!
After drinking the wine, Hubert, Magalie, Julien and Bob all wake up in 1950s Paris. At first they all think that it’s a dream or a hallucination. But they soon realise that they actually are back in the Paris of Edith Piaf and Savaldor Dali.
This is a Paris where Harry MacElhone still runs Harry’s Bar, and you’ll pay for your Bloody Mary with francs and centimes. It’s a time when the Louvre has no glass pyramid, and the Mona Lisa doesn’t have to be protected from the flash of tourists’ mobile phones.
Of course, the four time travellers enjoy exploring this city. Some visit long-dead relatives, other run into the celebrities of the day like a young Audrey Hepburn.
But ultimately they need to find a way home. And that means finding the one man who knows how this fine wine is linked to time travel.
I loved reading this novel. It’s a slim book, at just over 200 pages, so it’s not going to take a long time to read. But within these 200 pages, Laurain weaves a fairytale full of the most charming details of Paris gone by.
Many people wonder what they’d do if time travel was ever invented, and these four friends in 1950s Paris all have their own priorities. American Bob goes in search of a miracle, and Hubert discovers a family secret. We also discover the tragic reason why Magalie always dresses in black, and Julien secures the job of his reams.
Vintage 1954 has a touch of sci-fi, a hint of glamour, and a scattering of romance. There’s hidden treasure, secret identities and a life-changing opportunity that slips from someone’s fingertips.
If you’re looking for a novel that will allow you to escape the modern-day world for a few hours, then Vintage 1954 is the book for you!
When Hubert Larnaudie invites some fellow residents of his Parisian apartment building to drink an exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, he has no idea of its special properties.
The following morning, Hubert finds himself waking up in 1950s Paris, as do antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien, and Airbnb tenant Bob from Milwaukee, who’s on his first trip to Europe. After their initial shock, the city of Edith Piaf and An American in Paris begins to work its charm on them. The four delight in getting to know the French capital during this iconic period, whilst also playing with the possibilities that time travel allows.
But, ultimately, they need to work out how to get back to 2017, and time is of the essence…
An enchanting modern day fairy-tale that’s sure to charm you – 8/10