Sunday, November 3, 2013

FBT: Review of Grape Expectations by Caro Feely

Grape Expectations

by Caro Feely

Filled with vivid descriptions of delicious wines, great food, and stunning views, this is a unique insight into the world of the winemaker, and a story of passion, dedication, and love.

When Caro and Sean find the perfect 10-hectare vineyard in Saussignac, it seems like their dreams of becoming winemakers in the south of France are about to come true. But they arrive in France with their young family (a toddler and a newborn) to be faced with a dilapidated 18th-century farmhouse and an enterprise that may never, ever make them a living. Undeterred by mouse infestations, a leaking roof, treacherous hordes of insects, visits from the local farm "police," and a nasty accident with an agricultural trimmer, Caro and Sean set about transforming their "beyond eccentric" winery into a successful business as they embark on the biggest adventure of their lives—learning to make wine from the roots up.

Release Date:  October 1, 2013
288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-84953-257-0

Purchasing Information:
Available in bookstores across the country as well as at online retailers, including Amazon.

Author's bio:
“Apart from smoking on the fire escape at school – don’t tell my parents – I was a co-founder of the first magazine published by students which covered chocolate obsessions, and the funny, eccentric and bizarre things that happen at girls only boarding schools.

After university I wrote intermittent articles for newspapers and magazines related to my career in IT consulting. I started writing books in earnest Dublin in 2003 while on maternity leave but it took a gift of Maeve Binchy’s ‘writers club’ from my husband Sean to get my first published book Grape Expectations into good enough shape to attract a publisher – Summersdale – to whom I am eternally grateful for lifting me from the slush pile.” [from the author's website]

Get in touch with the author:
Books: 'Grape Expectations' at
Certified organic biodynamic wines: |
Award winning tours:
Luxury eco gites:
Twitter: @carofeely |

My thoughts:
Grape Expectations is the memoir of a young family’s brave decision to live rather than exist. Caro and Sean Feely have long dreamed of owning a vineyard in France and decide to make that dream reality.  Caro Feely’s memoir begins when the couple locates and purchases their twenty-five acre vineyard.  Within weeks the couple are residents of Saussignac, France. They are soon up to their elbows in renovations to their centuries old home and begin the daunting task of learning how to be vine-growers.

I have to admit I admired the couple for many reasons.  They took an enormous risk but they followed their dream and seized the life they yearned for.  Not only that, but they did so as a couple and remained so!  The adventure seemed to pull them together rather than apart which is truly remarkable.  I was definitely rooting for them, but they were certainly sustained by friends and family, new and old.  Living the life they had once only dreamed of sustains them.

I truly enjoyed Grape Expectations and came away from the read with a real admiration for the Feely’s who dared the impossible all for the simple goal of fulfilling a dream.  I admire them and truly enjoyed reading all the ups and downs of their adventure that became their life.


  1. thanks for your great review. yes, such an inspiring story! Emma [FBT]

  2. Hi Shannon: I am delighted you enjoyed Grape Expectations. Thanks a million for taking the time to read and review it. I am impressed by your reading list. I am working on the sequel and just received the publishers contract for it so will keep you posted on that. Un grand merci! Best wishes, Caro Feely

  3. Thanks so much Caro. I look forward to the sequel.

    Je vous en prie,


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!!

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