“I think seeing your own dad vomit is worse than seeing him cry,” Corked author Kathryn Borel contemplates while watching her father upchuck on the side of the road. Thoughts?
Not everyone would ride shotgun with just their dad on a lengthy cross-country road-trip. Nor would most women like the idea of getting wasted with said dad day after day, bonding over chewy baguette and tell-alls of sexual trysts. But everyone, sooner or later, realizes that the ones who brought them into the world will someday die. Ultimately, we find ourselves questioning: Do we know them? Do we really know them?
For Borel, the only way to understand her passionate, yet irrationally irritable, father is to understand his true love in life: wine. This spawns a boisterous journey through the tangled vineyards of northern France where bonding takes place over spitting on the floor, stealing Melba toast, latitudinal perplexities en Route des Vins and discussing the delicate skin of Pinot Noir.
The roads between Chateau Isenberg and Chateauneuf-du-Pape are fraught with twitchy fights, tipsy meltdowns and warm nostalgia; “You were a vahree ugly baby. You looked like a cross between a pit bull and Winston Churchill,” bon-vivant papa relays in a heart to heart while speeding south.
Father-daughter bonding aside, Corked is a hilarious and Dear Diary account of Borel’s journey into adulthood from undergrad to first-love melodrama. “I would numbly accept the degree for my honors Bachelor of Journalism. A few days after that, I would study the calligraphy on the degree and see that I had received an honors BJ,” ha ha, gee whiz, didn’t we all? Beyond a very personal account of her life Borel also teaches us to spit or swallow – the Riesling Grand Cru that is – so the novel becomes a handy wine guide for beginners.
An easy read that goes well with a bubble bath and a bottle of red. Corked is for all of you with wine-stained lips who take trips to the Maison de la Presse like it’s a porn shop and somewhere along your road to figuring out life, stare down at your Dad lacing his shoe and wonder – who is that guy?
Book Club Idea!
Everyone MUST bring a bottle of French wine and a photo of their father. Take turns swooshing, sniffing and spitting and intertwine these epicurean exercises with tales of Dad’s unusual child rearing tactics. Be sure to use bold and unique adjectives to describe both – and bonus points if you can match the description of a wine to that of your father. Pair this parlour game with some Serge Gainsbourg and stinky assortment of cheese and you’ve got the best evening to be had this fall.
Visit a bookstore near you or go online to Amazon.ca.
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A perfect read for this lazy Thanksgiving long weekend. Congrats Kathryn!