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If Wine was a Book, Drink This One - an Editorial Review of "The True Purpose of Vines"



Author Bio:

Stories are the very fabric of life. I want to transport readers to exotic settings, where they can find romance and happy endings and hopefully bring some back to their daily lives. Portugal brims with beauty and passion, and I research every tiny detail of my novels, hoping to make the reader treasure my grandparents’ country as I do. I have a loving husband who still is my hero and two amazing kids. When it’s cold and rainy, I run inside to read and watch movies under blankets, sipping wine. You can find me on the beach during summer, surfing with my family.



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Editorial Review:

I suppose so. It's like making a new acquaintance. Some people are pleasant enough, but after they leave, nothing of their presence remains. Others linger, their nuances and flavors persisting in their wake.”


Wines are meant to linger, for you to savor the rich tones bursting on your tongue. Novels are the same. Some are pleasant enough, but after you finish reading, nothing of their presence remains. Others linger, their nuances and flavors persisting in their wake. This is one of those novels which begs savoring.

What's that smell?”

Julia inhaled the alluring, sweet scent. “Jessamines – dama da noite.”

Jessamines?” He tilted his head, cobalt eyes twinkling in tune with the gas lamps.

A flower. It blooms only at night, not when it rains. I think it helps to have a clear sky.” Julia gazed at the brilliant stars. “Are you sure you don't know it?”

Positive.”

She sighed. “If moonlight had a scent, it would be this.”


And if you could drink a book, it would be this one... and this would not be a simple boxed wine, but a smooth, luscious, passion-filled full-bodied experience you will want to taste again and again.


In this exquisite historical romance, the reader is send reeling into the passionate world of 1870s Portugal, and immersed in the lush beauty of the Duoro region. With every page turned, your senses come alive with visions of the landscape and the smells of crushed fermenting grapes, along with some top-notch non-fiction research mingled into the narrative in a very pleasing way.


Julia (Costa-Ferreira) is a widow and a single mother, a hardworking winemaker whose determination to run the vineyard amid the turn-of-the-century mindset of the men around her. And she must do whatever she must to keep the business afloat since her late husband amassed a huge debt to an Englishman who has the vineyard in his sights. When the Englishman sends Griffin Maxwell to see about the possible financial gain in this vineyard, things take a turn for them both as a devastating plague threatens to wipe out her livelihood; fate and emotion gains the upper hand and sweeps them both into a enthralling romance.


Along with the overall framework with its nuances and flavors, the characters come to life in a very believable way. Julia is a strong-minded and savvy business woman running the wine business her late husband left, along with his debts, and she is determined to thwart the traditional role of women despite the disapproval of many. Griffin is a typical Victorian Brit, whose initial detached arrogance, prejudice and superiority complex flows out. He comes to Portugal with his own agenda, and Julia is not on that list. However, as any great historical romance should do, (such as Pride and Prejudice), the initial clash between the two main characters slowly develops into a growing attraction. One by one, the layers of resistance fall away, and as Julia's character grows in strength, Griffin's character softens and he begins to see the world around him in a different way... as does Julia, who learns her own fair share of things from Griffin. The narrative gives the reader an outstanding character arc for both of them, Griffin discovering a world of love beyond prejudice, and Julia finding romance beyond the restrictive bindings of the Victorian world without losing her self identity in the process.


Wines are better than men.” Julia lifted her chin, warming to the discussion. “They smell better, taste better, and age better, and one can always separate the good from the bad with a well-trained nose.” Wine never broke a woman's heart, either, but she kept that thought to herself.


All this time, he'd held to the belief that to control his life, to retain his origins, he had to stay away from everything Portuguese. The music, the culture, the food, the people. But by avoiding making Portugal his true home, he had only hurt himself.”


The cover of this novel sets the tone for this sumptuous book, which needs an award all on its own, for what any good historical novel cover should do is to tell the story in a single picture.


*****


“The True Purpose of Vines” by Giovanna Siniscalchi receives five stars from The Historical Fiction Company and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence.


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