Friday, August 01, 2008

The House of Mondavi - Julia Flynn Siler

Subtitled: "The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty." I just loved this book! I had read several reviews about it that all raved about what a great book it is and I bought it for "airplane reading" on a cross country flight to Seattle. I was hooked from the beginning. It is absolutely the page turner the critics claim that it is.

I don't know where to begin. It is engaging, well researched, authentic, objective and multi-faceted in representing the varying viewpoints of all the players in this big drama. It is a case study of family, business, passion, loyalty, conflict and creating something of enduring value. The Mondavi family did in fact affect the growth and appreciation of wine in America. The history of their family history in the Napa Valley is fascinating and very personal.

I enjoyed every minute of this book and the impressions of it linger with me still. I think I've mentioned it to everyone I've spoken to in the last week. It is both a triumph and a tragedy, and it has particular significance to anyone who has ever worked for a family owned business. The complex relationships of not just the family members, but those who love and are loyal to those family members, is something unique. It had particular meaning to me.

I highly recommend this book.

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