The California Wife

The California Wife

A Novel

Book - 2016
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It is 1897, and Sara and Philippe Lemieux, newly married and full of hope for the future, are determined to make Eagle's Run into a world-renowned wine-making operation. But the swift arrival of the 20th century brings a host of obstacles they never dreamed of: price wars and prohibition endanger the success of their business, and the fiercely independent Sara is reluctant to leave the fields behind for the new and strange role of wife and mother. An invitation to the World's Fair in 1900 comes just in time to revive the vineyard's prospects.
Publisher: Berkeley, California :, She Writes Press,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781631520877
Characteristics: 422 pages


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Nov 09, 2016

I read the first novel and found it compelling. While the second one follows in the same style, there is just a little too much drama going on for one family to be completely plausible. It's as if Harnisch researched the history of the early winemakers in California and tried to fit every detail into the story of one single family instead of a community - major earthquake aside.

Adopted children, mistresses, the Great Fire and earthquake, devastation of vines by insects and ignorant neighbors, murder and mayhem, self-defense, an almost rape, a cleft lip and special needs children, first women doctors enrolled in university and a baby birthed on a boat in the middle of the earthquake and fire - it goes on and on and you wonder what else could possibly be thrown in. Despite this flaw, the book reads well and you become attached to the characters.

I hope future books will have a bit narrower focus - it will tighten up the writing nice and crisp.

Jul 27, 2016

I could not put it down. I look forward to her next book.

May 28, 2016

This is the sequel to the novel The Vintner's Daughter so I suggest that you read that novel first. I really enjoyed her second novel even moreso than her first novel - I hope that Ms. Harnisch continues to write! It is interesting for wine-lovers and for those interested in the history of wine-growing in the Napa valley.

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