Saturday, July 26, 2008

Review: House of Mondavi

Starting with Ceasare Mondavi's first ventures in Napa Valley after World War II, through the family's tumultuous history, to ultimate riches but personal dissatisfaction, House of Mondavi by Julia Flynn Siler is a mesmerizing tale.

Like any family business saga, the story of who started the business, who ran it, and who runs it now is one that could be told adequately on the back of a restaurant menu. The Mondavi story itself could have been told well in a Vanity Fair-style magazine article. At close to 500 pages, this is a long book. But the details and diversions Siler includes add depth and richness that bring the reader right inside the Mondavis' world.

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