This novel gives reason as to why I love doing reviews. I not only get to read new works, but I get to share them with you. Sometimes you pick up a novel that reminds you all over again as to why you love reading. This is one of those unputdownables that right up to the very last page held my attention and heart.
This is such a fantastic novel. I fell in love with West's work when I read, "The Things We Knew". That is the very reason why I chose this novel. When you find a writer that you love it's hard to pass up a new release.
I love how the characters are introduced. They aren't just all thrown together, but they are perfectly brought into story. In fact, it's hard to pick a main character. Each character brings a beautiful aspect to the story. I found characters I could relate to. There is someone here for everyone to make a connection with. These are characters that are so real. People the reader would enjoy getting to know. I love the story behind each character and how they all intertwine.
We get to see many different aspects of their lives. I love how West opens their lives up and shows us the depths of their wounds. They battle such deep emotion. They are battling with their pasts and their present. Even at times a fear of the future. Life can be unsettling at times. We see how their circumstances can depend on the choices of others. It seems everything collides for these characters. Just as in real life it's at times one thing after another for them. Finding balance and peace amidst the constant portals of storms isn't easy for these characters. It's in this journey that we see God moving in their lives.
Faith is masterfully woven in this novel. Beautifully written in a style that easily flows. The themes of hope, faith, forgiveness, redemption, and love connect us with the characters. Family and relationship is something that stands out for me. We see these characters encourage and inspire one another. These are characters that all have a history with one another. I love how in some way or another they are connected.
I really enjoyed how these characters want to move forward, but they struggle for various reasons with letting go of the past. Such deep inner struggles for these characters. There is a transparency that draws in the reader.
I could go on and on with sharing, but then I wouldn't want to give away any details. Although the back cover does a good job of giving a bit of detail there is much more to this novel. These characters deal with health issues, aging parents, PTSD, family issues of mental illness, and custody battles to name a few.
The novel is set in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma, California. We travel the seasons of life with these characters. We see a winery struggling to hold it's own. The owner wanting to keep things as they have always been, but learns he must embrace the future to see this family treasure grow again. Just as the pressing of grapes brings about an aroma of sweetness, these characters will be pressed as they discover the full grace of God.
This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.
Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Visit her online at catherinewest.com.