When the publicist from Dutton asked me to write a pre-release review for this book, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t, really? Anyway, I found the book to be thoroughly entertaining, a quick read and memorable long after the story is finished. The characters are true to life and easy to sympathize with.
The historical aspects are right on, too. I find, more and more, that I enjoy books that employ the past as a vital part of the story, not just the setting. Jennifer brings the Prohibition era and all it`s glory and failures right to the forefront, setting them all right in your lap in a very personal way.
The story, in a nutshell:
Set in the Prohibition era, Rosa spends her life at the hands of an abusive husband while mourning the loss of four of her eight children. The day she learns that he has gotten involved with bootleggers, she flees for safety with her children. Trapped in a flooding canyon, they are rescued by Lars, her childhood sweetheart, her true love and the father of two of her children.
Together they all travel to the Sonoma area to find healing for her sickly children and her spirit. There she and Lars come into the employ of a family of vintners. Things go well until a prohibition agent begins snooping around. Then, all hell breaks loose. Pursued by the prohibition agent, the mob and Rose`s husband, she and Lars realize they must, once again, uproot their family and run. Rose comes up with a bold idea to buy their own vineyard and make a stand.
Here’s the blurb from the publisher:
Rosa Diaz Barclay is touched by the criminality surrounding Prohibition when she discovers that her husband, John, has given over the duties of their Southern California rye farm in favor of bootlegging. Fearing the safety of her four children, Rosa flees, carrying only a case of John’s ill-begotten cash and her mother’s two quilts. Lars Jorgensen, her true love and the father of two of her children, aids in her escape, and together the six travel north to San Francisco . Under assumed names, they are hired to work at a Sonoma vineyard, where Rosa creates a personal and professional identity that she would never have dared imagine at the opening of her tale, and one that brings great honor-and beauty-to all who surround her.
Jennifer has always been praised for her ability to write historical and present-day fiction with equal skill. While her last novel was set in modern times, Sonoma Rose tells the story of a young mother's heroic journey in Prohibition-era America .
Other praise for Sonoma Rose:
"Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive, showcasing the effects of Prohibition on farmers in Sonoma Valley. " — Romantic Times
"[An] emotionally compelling tale." —Chicago Tribune
If you`d like more info, visit Jennifer Chiaverini`s website: www.elmcreek.net
I`m going to give away my copy of this book. It`s a lightly read Advanced Reader`s Copy. No hoops, just leave a comment if you`re interested. I`ll draw the winner Monday morning.