Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review of the Day: Corked

Neither Kathryn Borel nor her father is the most psychically stable of individuals when they set off on a two-week wine tasting adventure through France. And there is nothing like the pressure cooker of a tin can rental car to bring emotions to the boiling point.

Borel conceived the idea for Corked when, as a newly-minted journalist, she found herself still struggling with depression after a tragic auto accident. Obsessed over her father’s mortality and convinced she had only a short time to heal their relationship, she arranges to accompany him to wineries around his native France, hoping that if she learns to understand wine, she will understand her father.

This is not a travel book about French wine country. It is a memoir about a young woman trying to forge an adult bond with her prickly father. Borel writes with candor and quirky humor. She has insight enough to appreciate her own limitations and, eventually, to accept her father’s.

Hers is not a mature viewpoint, which brings an emotional immediacy to the book that can feel a little raw. But for anyone who has traveled with a difficult family member or gone through a mind-clearing catharsis while traveling, the book rings true.


(If you would like your review listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.)


Thanks go to Book Dilettante for this book because I won it in a give-away.

I added this book to my French Connection list, were you can find many, many books set in and about France. 


  1. This sounds charming, and I love the cover!

  2. Connie -- I thought it was charming. It was a little dark in parts, but there was some idiosyncratic charm to the relationship between Borel and her father.

  3. I'm not sure I have any family members who are all that difficult, but I'm still intrigued by this book.

  4. I have to confess that I did teasers on this book but have not year read it all the way through. Your review gave me a better view of what it's about. Glad you found it interesting!

  5. Bermuda -- you are lucky! I've had plenty of teapot tempests with family members while traveling together.

    BD -- I looked for your review and wondered what happened. Too bad it didn't tickle your fancy. It did mine! Thanks for hosting the give-away that brought it to my hands.


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