Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The Vines We Planted by Joanell Serra is an Engaging Page Turner - Book Review
Today's reviewer would like to remain anonymous - but thank you to them for also placing this excellent and informative review on Amazon!
Excellent Amazon Review:
An engaging page turner from the first paragraph, this debut novel is packed with thought provoking and relevant themes such as family secrets, loyalty, forgiveness, grief, honesty, adoption, and trust. You will enjoy this quick and compelling read filled with complicated relationships, complex characters, romance, long-held secrets, wine, and horses.
Throughout the fast-paced story, Serra explores how the secrets of the past affect our lives and the challenge of facing life’s difficulties honestly. “He’d never learned how to weather the anger of someone he loved. Never been able to face their disappointment. He’d chosen to lie rather than confront, to avoid rather than reveal.” On many occasions, I felt that the author’s background.....her professional expertise in counseling, her insights into relationships, and experiences in working with families....added depth and authenticity to the story.
What I loved:
* Set in California wine country, the descriptions and visual images were special connections for me as a California resident.
* Complicated family stories and relationships always intrigue me.
* The theme of adoption is compelling because adoption touches my life....some of my fav stories have adoption themes.
* My experience as a teacher in a Title 1 school in SoCal helps me empathize with immigrant concerns, dilemmas, and hardships.
* Substantial themes are an important element in my enjoyment of a story.
What I’d Like You To Know:
* There’s a lot going on in this story! In one way, this makes it fast paced and unputdownable .....which I like....you will be dropped right into their complicated lives. However, there are many heavy themes to consider and several relationships to keep straight. (I liked the challenge!) Second, the story contains a few steamy romantic scenes and a sprinkling of f-bombs. Some readers might want to know this ahead of time.
Overall, The Vines We Planted is engaging, thoughtful, and well written. Recommended for fans of complicated family stories and important and relevant themes, and for fans of romance. Congrats to Joanell Serra for a terrific debut novel!
About the Book:
In the heart of the California wine country, secrets seem to grow on the vines that Uriel Macon’s family have tended for generations.
Uriel, the winery’s young widower, steers clear of complicated relationships. He prefers the lonely comfort of his vineyard and his horses, until he is reminded of his love affair with Amanda Scanlon; a relationship that ended when she abruptly left the country years ago under a cloud of mystery.
When Amanda returns to Sonoma because of a family crisis, she tries to mend the broken relationships she left behind. In addition, she seeks the truth about her parents’ complicated history and her own parentage.
But Amanda’s unveiling of the past has devastating consequences. In the midst of California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley, the Scanlon family struggles to overcome harsh realities with dignity and grace.
Both Amanda and Uriel stretch to take care of their families, which are facing immigration issues, marital crises, and loss. While navigating these challenges, the couple must decide if they trust themselves to love again, or to finally let each other go.
A Sonoma local, author Joanell Serra’s debut novel is captivating, poignant, and uplifting, demonstrating how seeds planted long ago continue to grow. Sometimes into a strangling weed, sometimes offering a bountiful harvest.
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: WiDO (May 8th 2018)
The Vines We Planted is available for purchase in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.
About the Author:
Joanell Serra, MFT lives with her growing children, husband and dogs in the lovely Sonoma Valley.
After years of publishing short stories, essays and plays, The Vines We Planted is her debut novel. She can be found polishing her second novel at a coffee shop, sipping a perfect Cabernet in a Sonoma winery or at her website: www.JoanellSerraAuthor.com.
Find Joanell Online:
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Anjanette Potter reviews Joanell Serra's The Vines We Planted and shares her thoughts with readers at BookWorm!