+Blog Book Tour+ The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

The Wharf of Chartrons Blog Tour via France Book Tours

Published By: Publishers Square , 12 August, 2014

a publishing partner of Open Road Integrated Media, Inc 

Twitter: (@OpenRoadMedia)| Facebook

Originally Published as: Quai des Chartrons by Presses de la Cite
(of Place des Editeurs)
, 2002

Available Formats:  Paperback, Ebook Page Count: 330

Translated by: Le French Book

Converse on Twitter: #TheWharfOfChartrons & #FranceBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAcquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Wharf of Chartrons” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Open Road Media, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A note on the publisher(s) & my inspiration to read the novel:

This is my first tour hosting a Publishers Square title in conjunction with Open Road Integrated Media, Inc as a direct translation text from the original French! What is more interesting than even relaying this news, is that Open Road is known for publishing e-books and generating interest on French Literature and French authors through their social media presence & active publicity through the e-book market. Ironically or not, they have found a ‘new’ reader in myself who has a preference for ‘print books’ over ‘e-books’ who happens to be an Anglophile who holds a strong foothold now as a Francophile as I’ve spent nearly a year reading French Literature through hosting tours for France Book Tours!

I am always curious about what will be included with an ARC, and this one did not disappoint me as there was a blurb in the Appendixes section about the connection between the companies as much as a nice paragraph about how Publishers Square is attempting to make a break-through to American readers who are striving (like I am) to read more French novels and literary fiction. As I may have spoken about previously, my attachment to France is strongly influenced by my ancestral roots therein. Each story that illuminates another portion of French history, I feel a bit closer to my ancestors and those who came before me along genealogical lines of connection.

Whilst reading the synopsis for The Wharf of Chartrons, the main thread of curiosity was needled into view due to the focus on vineyards and wine; as I have always had a keen eye on wine. My favourites of course are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, of whose bouquet lends itself to a silky smooth taste and reverie. I prefer Red over White, but moreso, I prefer a wine which has been cured into its own unique essence, not too strong, tart, or sweet but a lasting impression on the one who consumes its eloquence. The history of wine from France has always intrigued me, and therefore, as a reader of World War dramas I could not pass up the chance to learn more about the region of Bordeaux!

As an aside: Each time I feel the name “Bordeaux” slip from my lips, it is flavoured a bit by a strong French sounding inflection! This coming from the girl whose French would cringe most ears! Perhaps in smaller doses, my dyslexia will not affect the sounds? I have always been able to express myself in French very “un peu!” I celebrate each new word!

The next tour I am slated to host for this unique partnership in publishing will be: I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marney which a dear friend and guest contributor of my blog (as time allows) will be reading for the same tour as I am! Christine recently became a tour hostess with France Book Tours, and I am thrilled to peaches we get to share in the joy of reading a translated work from a French author together! What a blessing to be able to compare notes and impressions after we’ve read the same novel! Reading is twicefold blessed when shared with a friend! In the past, I have been fortunate to share my reflections with another dear friend Lianne, who is a regular tour hostess as well. A close circle of two Americans and a Canadian sharing a passion for French Literature! La Joie!

Oy vie! Now I understand why I am being asked if my ‘name’ means “Joy!” I accidentally discovered the reason myself a moment ago whilst looking up translations for French words which would express the joy of having two friends as co-hosts on France Book Tours! There is only one letter variant between “Joy” in French and “Jorie”! Oy, oy! ‘le sigh’ Although, it is a bit of an apt choice: I am always mirthfully full of joy!
I have been enjoying using the enclosed flat card stationery sheet as a bookmark, as someone had hand-written a short note and enclosed it with the ARC. It served a ready purpose and I was in gratitude to have a memento of the publisher!

The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

A family linked by wine and old rivalries sets out for new territory, during the turmoil of World War I.

David and Gaspard are cousins, bonded by family and their allegiance to their winemaking heritage. Parting with tradition and moving their vineyards near Bordeaux threatens to upset the family peace, but that’s only the beginning of their trouble. Short on funds, they are forced to team with a wealthy but morally corrupt engineer—though perhaps at a cost too high for the cousins…

Despite the odds, David and Gaspard succeed in making a successful wine, Clos-Marzacq. Along the way, they each fall in love, though not always in the best of circumstances. And now, to cement their successes, the cousins need to secure a stronghold on the Wharf of Chartrons, seen as the gateway to selling into England and America.

The Wharf of Chartrons exalts the passion of men who have a love of their land, and who are concerned about drawing the very best wine from it.

 

Jean-Paul Malaval

{: Author Biography :}

Jean-Paul Malaval was a journalist before turning to a career as a writer of local photography books and later fiction. In 1982, he began what would become a long-term relationship with the publishing house Éditions Milan, in Toulouse. To date, Jean-Paul Malaval has written ten works of historical fiction, mainly based in the region where he grew up, the Corrèze, which is near the Dordogne. Five of his ten novels have been published by Presses de la Cité. He is loyal to his home region and has been mayor of the town of Vars-sur-Roseix in Corrèze since 1995.

Visit the wikipedia page on him [in French].

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Wine-making and the French:

If there is anything I understand about my French ancestry, is that the French take wine quite seriously, and it is far more complicated than having the production of wine perfected as an end-result! Wine-making always felt to me as though a bit of a curious trade of knowledge through passion which in of itself turnt into a perfection of palatable art. The climate for the growing of grapes is only one part of the equation, as is the soil in which the crops grow and nurture their essences, but from what I have always known there are vintners and then there are vintners. There is a subtle reassurance of quality simply based on the approach to a vineyard and the deft hand who guides the flow of the vintage spilt out of the barrels.

My Review of The Wharf of Chartrons: 

A few times prior to now, as I have wandered into French Literature, I have found myself not able to connect to the narrative voice and style of the French; yet, as I began to soak into The Wharf of Chartrons the very first thing I noticed is the ease for historical voice Malaval gives to his story. He has found a way to connect to an American audience who enjoys nestling into World War dramas and the French cultural countryside, and for that, I applaud his gift for story-telling as it made opening this novel such a joy for this American reader!

We enter into the story in the late 1880s, where we meet Octave a vintner whose anguish of loss from the death of his wife is emotionally telling of his character. His sorrow has deeply set within his bones, to ache back into the present through a loving gesture that now is the only measurable solace he has to quay away the excess of grief. I felt connected to him in this one particular moment of human reverie and angst, stitched into the opening chapter of Part I, as it gives a lens into a man’s character as his consumption of love on behalf of his wife does not lie fallow in death. In regards to his son, Paul-Antoine the contemptuous spite between the two men is deeply wrought and a bit sad on behalf of a father and son. Octave is a stick-in-the-mud stubborn mule in regards to yielding his ire, and for whichever reason he held back Paul-Antoine’s chances of breaking free to fly into his own future by never giving him an opportune chance to change his stars. Ironically, it is through the grandson David, and his best mate (and cousin) Gaspard the legacy of Octave’s decaying vineyard has a chance to re-root itself in Bordeaux.

A very classically motivated setting for dramatic fever, as the row between father and son has become such a hardened normalcy neither has the will to fight only to concede. In the back corners of their exchanges, and the revelation of where the younger set wish to set their sights, we begin to breathe in the natural surroundings a bit at a time. A penchant for the natural world is keenly felt and visually seen through the choices in observational narrative.

When the two young entrepreneurs start to make enroads towards living their dream, of purchasing land and making their mark in Bordeaux, they start to see the under-footing darker side to political influence and the necessity of strength under pressure. The odds are stacked against them as they pursue to believe that despite the hardship of firming together their envisioned plans, they do have people willing to trust in their abilities and to bring their dream into the light of day. For every new pursuit of risk in life, there are always those who feel at odds with someone coming in on their ‘supposed’ territory, and Malaval does highlight this inside the novel. He tempers their dreams with the harsh realities of working with municipalities and the regulations which govern the sale of land.  The intricacies alone make the venture a hardening lesson of will, but it is how the cousins approach each hurdle placed in front of them that encourages your own spirit as you read their adversities. Malaval does not shy away from showing the dirtier side of political favour nor the back alley deals that regularly were exchanged in order to put a step foot forward rather than conceding defeat.

Quite decidedly the title of this story is eluding to a greater truth within the pages of its chapters — it took me a bit to uncover the threads of how deep the pockets filled the hierarchy, but what I loved about the intrigue, as we draw closer to the key players is we are understanding the mechanisations of how the wine traders and the winemakers were brokered together in a tight power game of control. As Gaspard grows into his shoes as a man whose confidence belies his conscience, he enters into choices that take him into darkened corners of his soul whereas David remains assured of his connection to tradition and honour amongst winemakers. David to me, felt as though he wanted to step fully into the shoes his grandfather Octave had left behind for him to fill. His cousin on the other hand, was too willing to forgo honour in exchange for moral sin and the subversives of being drunk on newfound power. His mentor was encouraging his rise into a new world away from his past, and within this shadowy underworld, part of his spirit is altering who he was meant to become.

Being a story about the French, I was not shocked to find equal measures of lust and strong expressions of character, yet the latter was quite minor whereas the pursuit of ill-begotten fruit was centerstage. When Gaspard elected to follow his heart, he did so without concern for what that choice would have on his well-being or future. David on the other hand choose to marry for love and this dichotomy of differences became commonplace amongst the cousins. At the heart of The Wharf of Chartrons is passion, love, and family. The World War has a strong presence surely, but what held-fast to my own heart as I read the pages is the bond between the cousins themselves and how their lives continuously were crossed into each other’s path to the brink that neither could fully stand on their own without the other close at hand.

 

On the writing style of a French author I adore, Mr. Malaval:

He takes his pen and threads out of it’s ink a narrative voice thickened by emotional connection to the land, the locale, and the story at hand. After having watched his video about his approach to writing and his deep consideration for where he lives, I had a sense that I perhaps had found a man who could evoke a response out of me from a story I had not realised would alight in my life! I have had a few missteps when it comes to reading French Literature, alas, it is not always easy to know ahead of time which story-teller will resonate with you and which one will simply leave you feeling as though a kinder approach might have been better warranted. The blessing of Malaval’s writing is that he instinctively knows how to tell a story for universal appeal: not strictly for the French, yet drinkable to the Americans! Being an American who simply adores historical fiction and the dramas settled in and around the World Wars, the chapters in which he elicits a more direct connection to the timescape and the landscape were my absolute favourites by far.

I was happily surprised to find him to be the type of wordsmith I adore greeting in fiction, as his words encourage a trigger of delight for the imagination. He breathes new beauty into an unknown area of the world (at least to my eyes) and gives us the blessing of travelling by heart rather than by foot.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Watch a video of Jean-Paul Malaval via Open Road Media

Inspired to Share: 

I always like to draw a connection to an author I am about to read, most especially if I am going to read an author for the first time and/or read outside the general scope of where my reading adventures generally lie. In this particular case, being that I knew ahead of time this was a French novel in translation to English, I wanted to educate myself a bit more on the author who penned the story. I had a sinking suspicion that I might not find materials in English as his native tongue is French, but with the help of sub-titles I felt as though this particular video gave me the connection I had sought and solidified my yearning to read The Wharf of Chartrons.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Virtual Road Map for “The Wharf of Chartrons” Blog Tour:

The Wharf of Chartrons Blog Tour via France Book Tours

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Please take note of the Related Articles as they were hand selected due to being of cross-reference importance in relation to this book review. This applies to each post on my blog where you see Related Articles underneath the post. Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the further readings which are offered.

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

via my
Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
Top 14 Reasons To Visit Bordeaux France’s Aquitaine Region via TravelTherapyTV

Inspired to Share:
I love finding travelogue video documentaries on YouTube, especially when they pertain to a specific period of history and/or subject found within the text I am currently reading! As I have not yet ventured to France personally, and being that I happen to fancy old architecture, this particular window into the world of Bordeaux was especially pleasing! Seeing front and center what the region looks like through this lens was a true delight and I hope you enjoy it too!

 

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Reader Interactive Question:

What inspires you to read French Literature and in particular, stories about winemaking and vineyards? Are you drawn to a particular vintage and/or style of wine? What do you appreciate the most about writers who stitch into their stories a backdrop of the natural environment whilst giving you a believable story with strong characters? Do you often read novels in translation, either French to English or another language of preference? What have you observed as you read translated stories?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Wharf of Chartrons”, book synopsis, author photograph of Mr. Malaval, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. The introduction video of author Jean-Paul Malaval by Open Road Media & Bordeaux travelogue by TravelTherapyTV had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events & France Book Tours badges created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Bordeaux – (en.wikipedia.org)

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Documentary on Topic or Subject, During WWI, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Passionate Researcher, Prior to WWI, Sociological Behavior, The World Wars, Vintners & Winemakers, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage




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One response to “+Blog Book Tour+ The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

  1. Merci for the presentation of the book and the extra material.
    Americans usually pronounce Bordeaux with a long final o sound, which is basically the opposite of the French pronunciation, final o very short, and the first syllable slightly stressed – we hardly stress syllables in France, it’s rather lat compare to English, or Spanish/Italian stresses on words

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