Member Reviews

This is a 5-star memoir, for sure. So much consciousness, insight, and realization of her own power. Loved it!
I am suggesting this excellent read to my friends.

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This book stands apart from other memoirs because of the unique and apt inclusion of historical and literal witches sandwiched between the vines. It is gratifying to learn that women are now standing their own in a traditionally male dominated misogynistic field. I applaud the struggle and the progression to persevere and be all the much stronger for it!

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3.5 stars. I was lucky enough to get an ARC from Netgalley. First of all I love the name of this book! I enjoyed the wine pairing information, very interesting. Wine is such a massive industry at the moment. Also loved that this book acknowledged the medias role in creating wine as an essential for women and for mums when actually it has been recently classed as a carcinogen. Natalie is so honest about her divorce, it's v admirable and makes for very good reading. The online abuse she gets from sharing other people's wine views on her website is horrendous. Mostly from men. Really shocking. The book then moves on to address sexism in the wine industry which has definitely been highlighted alot more lately and doesn't seem to be changing very fast either. What I didn't like was midway through the book it felt to me a bit disjointed and swops timelines to her childhood and early career which I found confusing at times. Apart from this I enjoyed this book. I was delighted to receive a copy.

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I was invited to read an advance copy of Natalie's book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As someone who doesn't read a lot of memoirs, I didn't have any expectations going in. But what I found was a brutally honest, laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching, and touching story about a woman's struggle with divorce, her relationship with alcohol, and a bullish online campaign set out to destroy her reputation and livelihood.

I was right there with her in those dark moments when the rug was ripped out from under her. It's an interesting and eye-opening look into the wine industry. Natalie's writing is smart and funny, and you'll find yourself lost in her story, eager to learn how she rose above the noise and persevered. Inspiring read.

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This story is a candid, witty, engaging portrayal of Natalie's astounding strength to rebuild her life (and self-confidence) after divorce and vilification by the misogynistic wine-world. Her narrative style pulls you in even if maybe you are not the intended audience. The content is gritty, raw, and yet her words are uplifting, and inspiring, and speak to anyone who's endured the end of a relationship. Maybe this is the way a book about a failed marriage, motherhood and the sexist wine industry is supposed to be.

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I think anyone interested in wine, writing, women’s issues, divorce, starting over, or depression should read this. I LOVE her writing. It's heady and thoughtful. I love the literary bits and references throughout the book. She is so good at creating tension. I kept wanting to race ahead and read, read, read!

I didn’t know much about the wine industry going in, and I learned so much. I was surprised to hear how many people are in the industry, and that it’s as backbiting and misogynistic as other industries. I love the strength the author develops in herself throughout the memoir. I was definitely rooting for her!

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This book makes you reflect on your own relationships and gain a better insight of your personal self. It is a masterfully woven story full of wonderful pieces of interesting information. Great inspiration to be gained from Natalie's journey to help you on your own.

This story is superbly written. Loved the tidbits of information dispersed throughout. From information about wine to pearls of wisdom such as 'first you entertain, then you educate'.

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A fascinating read! Clever, soul-searching, and entertaining.

I felt very drawn into this story and proud of the author's triumphs over professional and personal turmoil. Natalie's a true representative of the need for equality in our culture, and a trailblazer in telling her story, so articulately and fairly.

Natalie has succeeded in a male-dominated industry that threw toxic bombs her way. Besides facing up to harassment and rising above it, it's a very personal and revealing story of leaving a bad marriage behind.

In spite of the author’s “dark days”, the book shines with humor and intelligence.

The book opened my eyes to the wine industry, and how Natalie has "modernized" long-standing and "outdated" traditions of wine reviews and points, and instead approaches reviews with a touch of humor, use of TV and social media, and support of women in the industry. I will definitely make it a point to know more about the wineries that I buy from, plus avoid any wines labeled in a sexist manner.

I especially enjoyed the family stories and hearing about private moments that affected her. The relationship with Daniel was especially gratifying to read about, especially their romantic trip to Montreal. Those details give a nice counterpoint to the online ugliness that was going on at the time.

What's also very interesting was reading about the key roles women have played at well-known wineries, and so now in her own business Natalie make it a priority to mentor and hire women.

You won't be disappointed!

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I must admit that I read Natalie's books because wine is a shared passion, but this one hits at a different level. You will certainly relate to it if you are a wine lover, but it's so much more than that. It's a story that everyone can relate to (and feel), that is, triumph over the kind of adversity that could derail your life. The book follows her journey from the depths of despair and self doubt to reaching a place of joy and new beginnings. Her compelling prose, and her humour, kept me engaged to the point it was actually hard to put down. Recommended to anyone who likes a good read. My rating, using my wine scoring scale, is 5 stars out of 5.
NB, I had the pleasure to read an advance copy.

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This was an interesting read about several parts of Ms. Maclean’s life. I enjoyed learning about her, her troubles, and her job as a wine reviewer.
Recommended For: Those who like memoirs and women’s stories.

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I was lucky enough to be invited to read an advanced copy of Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking too Much, by Natalie Maclean.

It usually takes me more than a few days to read a book. I’m not one of those people who reads a new book every week. I just don’t have time.

WELL………48 hours later, and I finally came up for air, because I could NOT put this book down!!
Natalie’s story sucks you in from the start. It’s nuanced, and layered. It’s brutally honest, and authentic.

At some points it reads like a memoir. At some lovely points it reads like a novel (in the best of ways), but usually the two meld together to form a really cohesive and fascinating story. I was shocked……and also NOT shocked……to learn about the blatant sexism that exists even in the wine industry.

I loved the bits of romance in the book as well, and it was a nice reminder that not all men are bad lol.

Although, that is certainly NOT what Natalie was - in any way - trying to convey. In fact, Every man she writes about, from her harshest critics to her ex-husband are treated fairly, and honestly, and she never shies away from sharing her own mistakes and flaws along the way.

Natalie beautifully manages to describe peoples flaws and misgivings, without labeling them as bad people.

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur or aficionado to love this book. You don’t even have to love non-fiction or memoirs to love this book.
Lastly, you certainly don’t have to be a woman to love this book. This story has something for everyone, and it’s overarching themes are so much bigger than what the synopses convey. Take a chance, and step outside of your comfort zone…….just like Natalie did.

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This book is more than a fast-paced and engaging read peppered with wine notes and laugh-out-loud bon mots.
It lays bare shocking revelations about misogyny in the wine world and the cover of false bravery that social media provides. But, most of all, it is a courageous and moving story about one woman’s shake-up, and wake-up, that reveals universal wisdoms through her journey to truly seeing herself, witch and all.

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I loved this book! Reading it brought out many emotions from laughing to crying and everything in between. I thought it was exceptionally well written. Everyone should read this book, especially women who have gone through a divorce or any kind of harassment in the workplace. I love the witch analogies throughout the book. They add an interesting and humourous flare. If you liked reading Perdita Felicien’s memoir, My Mother’s Daughter, you will also like this book, because both are stories of strong women who persevere to overcome struggles. Natalie’s writing style is engaging, drawing the reader in as if we were there with her. I didn’t want to put the book down! It was easy to read, flowing well with short chapters and catchy titles. I think that we always learn things about ourselves when we read a book, especially when reading about someone else’s struggles. We think about the struggles in our own lives and reflect on how we got through them or what we could do differently in present situations. This is a well written, interesting story told with strength and humour. (less) [edit]

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I was astonished at how well I enjoyed it.
It has characters and plots that are reminiscing of drama packed with intrigue, bigotry, patience, vengeance, wisdom and eventually justice. The roller coaster ride of emotions in this book, this reader felt throughout the book and it tells the tale of redemption.
So too are the reality of the situations and the unfortunate current attitudes in the wine industry. In many ways you can think of this book as the authors version of Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' as it exposes the wine industry, warts and all.

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This book was awesome. As heavy as the subject sounds, her lighthearted writing style makes the book an entertaining read as well as giving insight into the flawed world of wine publishing.

I really felt her pain during her journey through those dark days. I also felt her joys and successes as she fought your way through it and rebuilt herself (and her brand) into the powerful woman she is today.

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Overall, I enjoyed it. I appreciated the humor and vulnerability. This is a story of strength, redemption, growth, and healing.

It's also heartbreaking, and an unfortunate reminder of what too many women have suffered. I found myself rapidly page-turning to get to the next turn in the story. I also related to a lot of her story.

One of my daughter's softball teammates plans to pursue a career in winemaking, and I plan to gift her a copy of this memoir as I think she will benefit from Natalie's experience.

This a great message for any woman interested in a career in a male-dominated industry. The book fills the reader with a sense of hope, that despite challenging circumstances and odds stacked against them, they can rise from the ashes as well.

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Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much by Natalie MacLean is witty, sometimes sarcastically charming memoir from a savvy professional and intensely personal viewpoint. The narrator is a divided self, seeking to unite those pieces into one healthy being and she invites the reader to accompany her on the journey.
The reader will be immersed in a personal transaction with the narrator. Readers won't be able to help themselves: they will fall into an examination of their own trials and experiences and will find themselves in a stewpot of emotions running from anger to sorrow to joy. What the narrator lives through is universal in the book of humanity. In many ways, we are all cooked in the same stew of challenges, tragedies and successes. The ingredients may vary, but when the cooking begins, our human experiences are the key ingredient in the recipe. As we boil in our own stews, we learn to cope, transform and become a new creation. Ms. MacLean shares her recipe for transformation and we are better for it.

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This book is well-written and kept me hooked. It was like watching a movie!
I am a man and happily married for 49 years. I am sure many women will identify with her feelings. Most likely my beautiful two daughters will find this book of interest.
I admire Natalie's courage to write such a memoir. I am sure readers will find it useful and maybe some will be able to save their marriage if they read it.

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Five Stars!!!!!

This book captivated me from the start. Natalie’s story is heartbreaking, witty, powerful and honest. I could not put the book down. Natalie takes you on an emotional ride that has you cheering for her every step of the way. I found myself reaching for tissues and a glass of wine as I read along.

Natalie writes with so much emotion. I felt her pain and struggle. I knew she would be victorious in the end. She is a fighter, and we all have a "Natalie" in us.

This memoir was very enjoyable. I would recommend this book to women, wine lovers and some men :)

I felt so honored to get an advance copy of this book. This was my first beta reader experience and hopefully not my last. Thank you, Natalie, for the opportunity to read this book.

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This story is a roller coaster. Her words hit my heart. It really shows her writing strengths. As a man, I probably won’t face the same challenges as Natalie, but in today’s world it is not just gender that creates obstacles - race, age and wealth (perhaps height) also impact the world we live in and how people see it.

We all need to recognize that there is right and wrong, and unless we all stand up for right, others will help wrong to win. I love the statement this book is making. I am ashamed, as a man, by what she faced but heartened that she persisted and ended up in a better place.

The things she has learned, the strengths she has acquired and shared, all work to make each and all of us better.

I continue to dwell on the ideas and events in this story. I wish there were a better way to state how important this story is and the positive impact it can have for the world.

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