Kim Gruenenfelder Opens Up About How To Balance Darkness & Light In Writing

posted by samantha cohen -

Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean that we still can't enjoy a juicy read! In her novel, Love The Wine You're With, Kim Gruenenfelder explores the journey of three best friends who open a wine bar in Los Angeles where they have to face the trials and tribulations of dating, love, friendship, and life. Gruenenfelder's writing is incredibly witty while being funny and truly moving at the same time. This book will make you want to sit down with a big class of chardonnay and finish it until the very last page!

The three girlfriends; Jessie, Nat, and Holly, each have struggles with their personal lives. From a boyfriend who keeps getting cold feet about marriage, to a passionate affair with one's boss, to the loss of a loved one, these ladies definitely know what it feels like when the going gets rough. After each girl finishes a particularly awful workday in their respective careers, they wonder, 'what do you do when you stop loving what you do?' In a moment of somewhat tipsy brazenness, the ladies decide to go off the beaten path, ditch their careers, and open a wine bar in a trendy L.A. neighborhood. In her interview with Helen, Gruenenfelder talks about how from the outside, it appears that the characters are leading pretty good lives, but inside they are all missing something. "Something that I have struggled with a lot in my life," Gruenenfelder explains. "Is that when several things are going great, but one or two things are just not. When do you live with it or say I need to try something else? I think us as women all go through some sort of a mid or quarter life crisis." 

A lot of Gruenenfelder's story is extremely relatable for women. One of our favorite parts of this novel, was the striking balance between how this book could lighten our spirits but containing serious struggles of the character's personal lives. "I can't stay in a dark, sad place for very long. It's so easy for me to wallow in self pity and get sad and when I try to write about serious stuff, I just can't help it, I keep making up jokes in my head," Kim explained. 

How'd Gruenenfelder come up with this hilarious title, you may ask? She was stuck and couldn't think of a title so she literally put a post on Facebook asking for ideas! One of her friends came up with Love The Wine You're With and the author loved it instantly.

Listen to the rest of the interview to find out which character Gruenenfelder relates to the most, her rules on girl code 101, her favorite kind of wine, and much more!

Check out more episodes of The Public Library Podcast!

weekend plans include diving into #LoveTheWineYoureWith by @kimgruenenfelder 🍷✨

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