True Vines by Diana Strinati Baur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'After the sudden death of her Italian winemaker husband, Meryl Michelli flees to her small hometown in Pennsylvania, looking to slam the door on heartache and trudge forward. But it's never that simple, especially when old family ties have been strained by years of geographic and emotional distance. A chance encounter with a childhood friend brings back a betrayal she could never put to rest, and readjusting to life in the States in upper mid-life wears her thin in ways she never could have imagined. But it's only when she completely falls apart that Meryl comes to understand that the key to the future lies in understanding the meaning of the past.
True Vines traverses the lush, manicured rows of northern Italy's majestic wine country and the winding path of Pennsylvania's Delaware River as Meryl seeks to reconcile her past and her present. Saying goodbye to one existence allows Meryl to swing the door open to another as she weaves a new, uniquely beautiful tapestry that transports her to exactly the place in this short, sacred life she is meant to be.'
I was sent this in exchange for an honest review.
I found this story quite easy to get into, I connected with the characters straight away and was ready to accompany Meryl on her journey. This is a story told across two countries, America and Italy and if you have ever been to Italy it will light up memories and if you haven'y you will want to visit.
I enjoy books set in different countries and travelling and I found myself wanting to arrive in a foreign country and travel along with Meryl and Francesco.
There are many topics covered in the book, love, family, lies...The story is about Meryl's life coming together, the past and present, I wasn't sure how this was going to work but it was important the author covered this across the two countries, towards the end this all came together.
Some books you can drift in an out of and it doesn't matter if you put it down and don't pick it up again for weeks as you will know what is going on. This is not one of those books, as there is so much going on in it, you have to concentrate completely when you are reading it as if you are not you will get lost. This happened to me on a couple of occasions and I had to reread sections to remember what had happened and so I felt I could move on confidently. For this reason and it is probably down to my lifestyle I feel I could not give myself up to the book and enjoy it in the way it should be read. I was too distracted with things and this slashed my enjoyment of it as I had to keep reading back.
I have also found it hard writing a review for this as I feel that I was distracted throughout it.
Finally I did love the settings of the book and the characters - this I should have read when I was on holiday and could give the book the time it deserved.