- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 13 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Ideal Audiobooks
- Audible.com Release Date: November 11, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N8UARWY
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets Audiobook – Unabridged
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The cover and title of this book made me think of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave and I've always enjoyed historical fiction so I was excited to dive in. It absolutely did not disappoint.
As a modern feminist, I spend large portions of the book irritated at the beliefs and actions of society in general. I realize that the attitudes were commonplace in the 1950s, when this book is set, and it makes me so thankful that I was born after the big push of the women's rights movement. I definitely had no problem relating to Caterina and Ava and their issues with society's attitudes toward strong, independent women.
The story got off to kind of a slow start for me, building the mystery and anticipation. There was a lot of "I can't ever let her know this very important secret" kind of stuff going on, and it was kind of obvious that these secrets should really be divulged (although maybe I just wanted that because I didn't get to know what most of them were either in the beginning.) Once the story picked up, it had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. There may have been some squealing involved (and pleading, ranting, and a bit of hoping as well if I'm being totally honest). I probably sounded like a certified lunatic for the last 30% of the book.
Overall I give The Winemakers 5 out of 5 stars because it was just that good. I would highly recommend it.
I really liked both Caterina, and her mother, Ava. Both of them were really strong women. They were both fierce, intelligent, and determined. They each faced hardships and had to make hard choices. At first, while Caterina is mad at her mother because her mother wants to make choices for Caterina rather than letting Caterina make them herself, she soon comes to understand her. While reading this novel, I found that both of them were alike. They were both stubborn, persistent, and never gave up hope of finding their own happiness. They had a fierce love for their daughters and their need to protect them. I found them to be very fascinating characters and easy to relate with. Ava did have secrets, but she had good reasons for keeping them from her daughter.
Overall, this story is about family, love, secrets, misunderstandings, and choices. The story is a touching mother-daughter story. I did find the story to be a bit drawn-out and predictable. I also found some of the supporting characters to be one-dimensional. However, the characters of Ava and Caterina were enough to make me stay invested in the story. I did find the novel to be well-written with vivid descriptions. I also like the settings of the Napa Valley and Tuscany Italy. Not only is The Winemakers a great summer read, but it will also appeal to fans of Lisa Jewell, Beatriz Williams, and Kate Morton!
(Note: I read an ARC copy of this book in courtesy of Netgalley.)
Jan has a way of drawing the reader into her stories. She takes a paint brush to her words and brushes a panorama across the pages. You find yourself falling into the scenes of the lands and places that she builds for her stories to take place. The smells, sights and sounds accost your senses as you find yourself peering through the eyes of the characters and seeing a world unfold before you.
This is not limited to just her scenery, but also to the very fiber of her story lines. They live and breathe as you find yourself flipping the pages to keep up with the characters, wiping tears of sadness or laughter. Suddenly a page turn will bring a catch of breath that forces you to set down the book till you can breathe again…forcing you to think back, re-access and draw on your own strength to go forward with the young heroine.
Once again Jan has given us a glimpse behind the shutters of the wealthy and high born to show us that all who live have lives that can be fragile. All who breathe can suffer great loss and hold great secrets that seem unbearable. Wealth and breeding do not make people immune to the bad things that can and do happen to families. Evil is evil, no matter the last name. Kindness, generosity, and love come from within and cannot have a price tag attached.
Jan has also shown the struggles that independent strong minded women have endured during the early part of the 1900s. She included the prejudices against women in business within her storyline. I deeply appreciated this. We forget how much our mothers and grandmothers fought to make our lives better for us. How we must continue to strive to make the way better for our daughters and grand-daughters who follow behind.
Jan Moran has written stirring and remarkable works from her first novel, Flawless, but with each offering, she has shown continued growth in her craft. The Winemakers is a novel worthy of note and one that is sure to make many lists and take awards for 2016. I give The Winemakers a FIVE STAR rating for craftsmanship and entertainment. This is a must read for 2016.