Friday, May 24, 2019

Review: Something in the Wine

Title: Something in the Wine
Author: Tricia Stringer
Publisher: 15th May 2019 by Harlequin Australia, HQ (Fiction, Non Fiction, YA) & MIRA
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, contemporary, womens fiction, Australia
My Rating: 3 cups

A warm-hearted rural romance set among the scenic vineyards of the Margaret River from bestselling author Tricia Stringer, the authentic voice of Australian storytelling. Reserved high school teacher Keely Mitchell is more than ready for her holiday on the west coast of Australia, so when a medical emergency turns over all her plans and an intervention by a kind stranger finds her recovering in a Margaret River vineyard, she is at first downcast.
Keely had wanted to put recent traumatic events out of her mind, and recuperating alone in a stranger's house won't help that. But slowly the lovely food, spectacular wine and beautiful landscape of the area begin to work their spell. As Keely makes friends with the locals and adapts to the rhythms of the vintner's year, she starts to feel part of the scenery too, particularly when her artwork and jewellery-making somehow find a home at Levallier Dell Wines.
But clouds are on the horizon in the shape of a warring father and son, interfering family friends and a rival in love. Keely didn't mean to fall for anyone, but she can't help her feelings for clever, passionate wine-maker Flynn Levallier. Sadly, it seems he only has eyes for the beautiful Kat, daughter of a rival wine-maker. Can what Keely feels be real? Or is it just something in the wine?
My Thoughts

Over ten years ago, Tricia self published a short story which has now been refurbished into ‘Something in the Wine’. This story is set in the glorious Western Australian wine region of Margaret River. In essence, this is a sweet tale of learning to follow your heart.

This is an easy read, incorporating family dynamics and romance. I think the real enticement here though, is the wine growing region itself. Tricia beautifully captures the locality from the vines to the coast, including the flow of tourism to the area. If you are at all interested in wine making then this is the book for you! Much research has been undertaken and it is very interesting to learn about grape growing and the problems that can arise. It provides a wonderful backdrop to a story that was quite simple.

I struggled with some of the characters. I found the main female lead, Keely, to be too meek (given her age) especially when dealing with her parents. Also, as many other reviewers have noted, the family bickering between father/son and neighbouring wine growers, grew a little thin at times.

So whilst not my favourite Tricia Stringer book, it still makes for a interesting rural read, inclusive of all the necessary ingredients of fear and hope, rejection and love and the journey to learn to follow your heart and do what makes you happy.

“I was a little girl then.”
“The same Katerina lives within.” He reached across and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Follow your heart.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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