Seventeen year old Sara Thibault's father is a vintner in the Loire Valley, France in 1895. With no sons, he has passed on his knowledge to Sara, who hopes to continue the family legacy. But when her father dies, and her sister marries badly, Sara's vision of the future quickly changes. The sisters run to America where Sara eventually wends her way to the Napa Valley wineries.
Historical fiction fans are going to enjoy this one. Harnish has chosen a different and quite interesting platform for her novel. The descriptions of wine making techniques were all new to me. The vineyard settings and methods were richly drawn and well researched. Part of the novel takes place in New York City and this setting is also well portrayed. This is a time period and place I enjoy, so the US setting was my favourite. Harnisch touches on social issues of the time as well - the Suffragette movement and Prohibition.
But at it's heart, The Vintner's Daughter is a character driven novel. Sara is a protagonist that the reader can't help but root for. She's facing insurmountable odds, but her loyalty, drive and feisty spirit carry her forward. Oh, and did I mention the romantic elements? Uh huh. In addition to the dastardly brother in law, there's another brother who is the opposite side of the coin. And he just happens to be a vintner....
Harnisch has taken a familiar story of family loyalty, loss, love and redemption and given it her own stamp with the wine element. Fans of historical romantic fiction will enjoy The Vintner's Daughter - best enjoyed with a glass of wine. Read an excerpt of The Vintner's Daughter.
"Kristen Harnisch's ancestors emigrated from Normandy, France, to Canada in the 1600s. She is a descendant of Louis Hebert, who came to New France from Paris with Samuel de Champlain and is considered the first Canadian apothecary. She has a degree in economics from Villanova University and now lives in Connecticut. The Vintner's Daughter, her debut novel, is the first in a series about the changing world of vineyard life at the turn of the century." You can find Kristen on Facebook
If this sounds like a book you'd like to read, I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment (and a contact method) to be entered. Open to US and Canada, no PO Boxes please. Ends September 27/14.