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17 February 2010

A Book Review: Corked by Kathryn Borel

Title: Corked: A Memoir
Author: Kathryn Borel
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 16, 2010
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN: 9780446409506
Genre: Biography/Autobiography


About the novel

Meet Kathryn Borel, bon vivant and undutiful daughter. Now meet her father, Philippe, former chef, eccentric genius, and wine aficionado extraordinaire. Kathryn is like her father in every way but one: she's totally ignorant when it comes to wine. And although Philippe has devoted untold parenting hours to delivering impassioned oenological orations, she has managed to remain unenlightened. But after an accident and a death, Kathryn realizes that by shutting herself off to her father's greatest passion, she will never really know him.

My review:

Corked: A Memoir rendered me confused, sad, and desperately hoping this is loosely based on Kathryn Borel's life. Kathryn travels the French vineyards with her father learning about winemaking and tasting wines in an attempt to connect with her father. I honestly do not understand why she took this trip with him when she has no real interest in wine, even though Kathryn clearly states she wanted to learn something from her father. It is difficult to care for her father as he is rude and abusive to almost everyone they encounter who is not part of a vineyard. Kathryn, or Toots as her father refers to her, ran over an elderly man while she was in college and it is quite evident that she has not overcome that trauma and has engaged in self-destructive behaviours in what I assume is a desperate attempt for attention. I would very much like to write about how redeeming I found this memoir, however, I cannot truthfully say I enjoyed this novel, I never felt the father-daughter bond and found the disrespectful and at times rather crude language used toward each other to distract from the author's goal of bonding with her father. Perhaps I just did not understand the novel.

About the author:

Kathryn Borel was born in 1979 in Toronto, the daughter of a hotelier.

After several years, she became the older sister to Nico, who was named after the family cat. She spent her early years living in hotels in Paris, Bermuda, Dallas, and New Jersey, finally settling in Quebec City.

In 2002 she moved to Toronto to follow a man. The relationship ended.

She continues to live in Toronto where she works at the Canadian Broadcasting Company. She has written food and wine reviews for radio and print. Her journalism includes a column which ran in the National Post under the title "Indignities." Corked is her first book.

I received a complimentary copy of Corked by Kathryn Borel from Hachette as part of the tour. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Aths said...

Good review. Sorry that you didn't enjoy this. I've been curious to know how this book is, and your review gives me a clear picture of what to expect. Thanks!

Michelle said...

I've steered clear of signing up to host this one just because the synopsis just didn't grab me. After your review, I'm glad I stayed away.

Thanks for the honest review! It feels almost mean (At least, I feel that way) to give a low review rating to a book, but I would rather read honest reviews than a bunch of 4- and 5-star reviews of books that were just OK.

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

I haven't heard of this book, but it doesn't sound like the type I want to read. Thank you for a very honest review.

Rose City Reader said...

Good review! Although, I liked this one more than you did. It hit me right. Here is my review on Rose City Reader.

Can I add a link to your review on mine? I don't like to link without asking first, and can't remember if I've asked you for permission before.