If you know anything about me, you will know that I love all things to do with witches and vampires. Lucky for me, the rest of the world seems to like them right now too. When I came across A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness I knew it would be right up my alley, but I didn’t know just how much. What I love about this book is that it is fantasy for smart people.
Diana Bishop is a scholar and a witch. She is descended from a long line of witches, but wants nothing to do with that world. Matthew Clairmont is a geneticist and a vampire. He is also an oenophile.
While researching in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, Diana inadvertently calls a book of alchemy thought to be lost for centuries. She skims it, takes some notes and sends it back into the stacks, but not before it calls forth many other supernatural creatures including Matthew Clairmont.
As the relationship between Diana and Matthew grows more complicated, the book becomes harder to put down. There is a complex world of daemons, witches and vampires living side by side with humans without their knowledge. I really like that daemons are creative types, which explains their often erratic and eccentric personalities. If you like historical fiction, fantasy, or romance, you will like this book. It is like a grown-up and better written version of Twilight.
What drink would pair well with this book? Red wine. No question. In my browsing I came across two sites that I got especially excited about. The first was Deborah Harkness’ website, deborahharkness.com. On it, you can find Diana’s and Matthew’s playlists if you like to listen to music as you read. You will also find the contents of Matthew’s wine cellar, which is impressive, but the wines are not exactly stocked at your local wine shop. Harkness writes that vampires are natural wine collectors because of their “long memories and preternatural palates”. I also came across the site goodwineunder20.blogspot.com. Deborah Harkness also authors this site and it has won numerous awards. When it comes to wine, she definitely knows her stuff.
I’m definitely not an expert, but I know what I like. To me, this book calls for a complex red blend. Something that Matthew Clairmont would appreciate. My choice is Westside Red Troublemaker. It has consistently been a fantastic wine and it is relatively cheap (under $20). This is a great book to read as we start to feel the weather ever so slowly cool down.