The Vintner's Daughter by Kristen HarnischThe Vintner's Daughter by Kristen Harnisch

The Vintner's Daughter

byKristen Harnisch

Paperback | June 17, 2014

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Loire Valley, 1895. When seventeen-year-old Sara Thibault's father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family, whose eldest son marries Sara's sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels Sara and her sister to flee to New York, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father's footsteps as a master winemaker.

Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa by 1900. When he receives word of his brother's death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has travelled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe in a Napa vineyard, they are instantly drawn to one another, but Sara knows he is the one man who could return her family's vineyard to her, or send her straight to the guillotine.

A riveting, romantic tale of betrayal, retribution, love and redemption, Kristen Harnisch's debut novel immerses readers in the rich vineyard culture of both the Old and New Worlds, the burgeoning cities of turn-of-the-century America and a spirited heroine's fight to determine her destiny.

KRISTEN HARNISCH's ancestors emigrated from Normandy, France, to Canada in the 1600s. She is a descendant of Louis Hebert, who came to New France from Paris with Samuel de Champlain and is considered the first Canadian apothecary. She has a degree in economics from Villanova University and now lives in Connecticut.The Vintner's Daughte...
Title:The Vintner's DaughterFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.92 inPublished:June 17, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443426431

ISBN - 13:9781443426435

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely travelogue of France, California, and New York My knowledge of wine is minimal. I drink a glass of red in the winter to stay warm, and I sip on a glass of white in the summer to decompress from a stressful workday, preferably on a patio somewhere. Over the years, my amateurish palette has developed to a point where I can, at least, identify what I like and what I don’t like. My knowledge goes downhill from there. Kristen Harnisch’s The Vintner’s Daughter, in addition to being a lovely novel and travelogue, is an education. Every part of the wine-making process is seamlessly woven into the story. Within the first few chapters, I learned about phylloxera, an insect that infects grape vines, and the ways in which turn of the century vintners would’ve treated such infestations. A few pages later, the reader is taught how grapes are “pressed a total of four times. The must from the first three pressings would be fermented in large vats and pasteurized to make a fine wine that would be sold in casks… …[the] fourth pressing would be made into table wine to be sold cheaply to the local villagers. The leftover skins would be given to the pickers or used for fertilizer” (15). Every layer of relevant historical detail is accounted for and integrated into the narrative, bringing to life a time of forgotten traditions and culture. Needless to say, I was enlightened. I will not look at a bottle of wine the same way, ever again. The novel begins in Loire Valley, 1895, and follows Sara Thibault’s family as they struggle to build a profitable vineyard. Sara wants nothing more than to work in the fields, studying and learning the trade from her father. Her sister and mother, however, bound by social propriety and gender roles, are more willing to bet on marriage than industry and physical labour. But, in the great tradition of stubborn female characters, Sara has no intention of abandoning her dream. Social convention, unfortunately, is not the only battle Sara must fight. The Thibault vineyard is forever at odds with the sabotaging wealth and arrogance of the Lemieux clan. The building tension between the two families eventually snaps and makes it imperative for the sisters, Sara and Lydia, to escape to America. From New York to a burgeoning Napa Valley, the readers navigate, along with the heroine, bustling cities and regions on the verge of modernity and the twentieth century. I especially enjoyed the portions that took place in California; the landscape evoked a wonderful nostalgia reminiscent of Steinbeck’s picturesque hills and valleys. If, like me, you’re in the midst of summer withdrawal, The Vintner’s Daughter will help you bridge that cold weather gap with wonderful descriptions of rural France and West Coast sunsets. Sara is a great, competent, capable, knowledgeable, headstrong character. She isn’t a flake. Most importantly, she’s got a sturdy constitution, and isn’t afraid of a little elbow grease. There’s a special place in my heart for physically strong female characters, women who can lift and carry and throw and build and take care of themselves. It’s probably representative of some wish fulfillment on my part. Either way, Sara more than qualifies.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read It was the kind of book that I couldn't put down. It had everything from history to a love story. Very interesting
Date published: 2015-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One for historical romance fans 3.5/5 The Vintner's Daughter is Kristen Harnisch's debut novel. The beautiful cover and a blurb by one of my favourite historical authors, Roberta Rich, convinced me to pick up the book. Seventeen year old Sara Thibault's father is a vintner in the Loire Valley, France in 1895. With no sons, he has passed on his knowledge to Sara, who hopes to continue the family legacy. But when her father dies, and her sister marries badly, Sara's vision of the future quickly changes. The sisters run to America where Sara eventually wends her way to the Napa Valley wineries. Historical fiction fans are going to enjoy this one. Harnish has chosen a different and quite interesting platform for her novel. The descriptions of wine making techniques were all new to me. The vineyard settings and methods were richly drawn and well researched. Part of the novel takes place in New York City and this setting is also well portrayed. This is a time period and place I enjoy, so the US setting was my favourite. Harnisch touches on social issues of the time as well - the Suffragette movement and Prohibition. But at it's heart, The Vintner's Daughter is a character driven novel. Sara is a protagonist that the reader can't help but root for. She's facing insurmountable odds, but her loyalty, drive and feisty spirit carry her forward. Oh, and did I mention the romantic elements? Uh huh. In addition to the dastardly brother in law, there's another brother who is the opposite side of the coin. And he just happens to be a vintner.... Harnisch has taken a familiar story of family loyalty, loss, love and redemption and given it her own stamp with the wine element. Fans of historical romantic fiction will enjoy The Vintner's Daughter - best enjoyed with a glass of wine
Date published: 2014-09-13

Editorial Reviews

“Lush and evocative, this novel brings the Loire Valley and its glorious vineyards to life in a story that will delight readers everywhere. Enjoy with your favorite glass of Merlot!”