Decanted


Fiction - Womens
267 Pages
Reviewed on 04/16/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Decanted by Linda Sheehan is a novel in the women’s fiction, slice of life, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is intended for the adult reading audience owing to sexual references and occasional explicit language. Spanning two different generations of women seeking life, love, and liberation, this utterly charming novel sees protagonist Samantha follow in the footsteps of her great-aunt, Vivian, who escaped the drudgery of life’s expectations for greener pastures in France. As Samantha works through the grape harvest, she learns a great deal about the pleasures of life, and a link from Vivian’s past leads her to even more shocking revelations that will truly help her reinvent herself for the future.

It's clear from the offset that author Linda Sheehan has a passion for wine and the beautiful process of its creation, and this rich backdrop sets the scene and the mood perfectly for a gorgeously lush tale of self-expression, freedom, and what it means to be a forward-thinking woman. I adored Samantha as a central protagonist for her combination of spirit and naivety and her capacity to grow and learn when faced with different challenges. The plot moves at a fast pace throughout the novel and twists in just the right places to keep readers on their toes so that it’s never predictable. I would certainly recommend Decanted for women’s fiction enthusiasts everywhere, and Sheehan as an author to watch for her wit, craftsmanship, and emotional resonance on each page.

Jack Magnus

Decanted is a contemporary fiction novel written by Linda Sheehan. Things were looking good for Samantha Goodyear. The twenty-something was living rent-free in the Central Park West coop owned by her family, and she was about to give the presentation at DeMoine Accounting that would earn her the promotion she'd been working towards for the last three years. She was dressed in all the right garb for a successful young executive but hadn't counted on a sudden downpour. As is the case in Manhattan when it rains, there was not a cab in sight, and, when she went down into the subway, she realized that her purse with her MetroCard was still on her kitchen countertop at home. She did eventually make it into the office, bedraggled and looking a lot less smart and polished than when she had started out. That would only be the beginning of what turned out to be a fairly awful day. First, her supervisor stole her ideas and presented them at the meeting. Then, she saw her former college roommate and boyfriend-stealer, Chelsea, inside her coop. As Samantha questioned her, Sam's father leaned out and said that he and Chelsea would be living there from now on. The only bright spot left in her day was an invitation from Ned Wasserman, who owned the trendy Ned’s Fine Wines, to meet Henri LeMont, the son of a top French Beaujolais producer, who was giving a tasting later that evening. Wine was Samantha's passion, and viticulture was the subject she would have studied had it not been for parental pressure to go into accounting.

Linda Sheehan's contemporary fiction novel, Decanted, is a grand and glorious introduction into the world of fine wines and how they come into being. I wasn't quite sure about Samantha Goodyear at first. Her privileged life and preoccupation with Manolo Blahniks and designer clothing seemed to indicate somewhat of a lightweight personality, but I soon began to appreciate her potential. I started to get excited about this book when Samantha quits her accounting job and travels to France to take part in harvest season at the Domaine LeMont. I was fascinated by descriptions of the harvest and the knowledge Julien LeMont passes on to Samantha during her stay. My wine education continued when Samantha moves to Napa and gets involved in the actual winemaking process. Best of all, the book was all about Pinot Noir, my wine of choice, and how the Pinot grapes get that fabulous flavor and the care taken in harvesting and storing in oak barrels. Decanted is a hands-on look at wine and wine-making as well as an engaging and entertaining story about a young woman who gets the courage to give up a comfortable existence in order to strive for her dreams. It's highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

A novel about courageous women, Decanted by Linda Sheehan is a powerful story about grit, love, chance, and triumph all set within the fascinating world of winemaking. Like her free-spirited great-aunt, Vivian, who travels to Paris in the 1930s to make her dreams come true, Samantha leaves a promising but unexciting career for a chance to learn about winemaking in France. She is immediately enchanted by the lush vineyards surrounding Château LeMont and falls in love with one of the LeMont brothers. Samantha is later forced to move to Napa Valley when things do not turn out as expected. Still determined to fulfill her wild dreams, she immerses herself again in winemaking, this time as the winemaker. Her story is intertwined with her great-aunt’s experiences in Paris.

Samantha's and Vivian’s adventures are captivating. I loved that they are unconventional and their stories have exciting turns. Their ability to work for what they want and keep trying despite the challenges they face makes them inspiring. The secondary characters are also exceptional and they help flesh out the main characters’ stories. Beautiful, breath-taking landscapes also make splendid backdrops for the story. I also found the novel informative on the topic of wine and winemaking. Decanted by Linda Sheehan is a fantastic work led by intriguing characters. It is an immersive novel which interweaves two entertaining plots set during different times. It is also a delightful masterpiece that interlaces its unique story with details about the science of winemaking, making it a must-read for wine lovers.

Vincent Dublado

Decanted by Linda Sheehan is a romantic tale that will inspire you to pursue your passion in this time of The Great Resignation. Financial analyst Samantha Goodyear has always been passionate about wine. As a top-notch financial analyst for Weatherhouse, a Manhattan-based accounting firm, she feels that the firm has failed her after she pitches the idea of Weatherhouse setting up a division to take on wineries as clients. The firm, however, has no interest in the plan. She decides to quit and sets off for France to learn the ins and outs of vinification. She tries to build a happy life in Beaujolais, but her new life is not without challenges and heartaches. Her lover’s infidelity pushes her to return to the United States, where she operates a winemaking business running on a limited budget but sustained with perseverance and passion.

I rarely get to read novels that center on wine as an integral element of the story. In this romantic novel, Linda Sheehan sets out to explore winemaking and that makes an excellent backdrop for her story about love, passion, and family, as she weaves a tale of one woman finding herself through a new passion and connecting it to the past of a beloved relative. It sounds formulaic, but how Sheehan puts it all together sets Decanted apart from the typical wine romance novels and even films. This novel may have some clichés, but Sheehan puts together a tried and tested story that firmly holds on to family values and individualism. This alone delivers a satisfying storyline, one that leaves you feeling good after reading. Just like a fine wine, this book is a must-read for anyone with a taste for a story that goes down easily.

Stefan Vucak

On a hot and steamy New York day, Samantha Goodyear, an accountant for a major Manhattan firm, is toasting the passing of her Aunt Vivian at 95. Instead of going to a secretarial school, Sam’s great-aunt packed up and sailed for Paris to make a new life for herself. Samantha receives an invitation to go to a famed winery estate in France for the August harvest. With a passion for wines and how they are made, hoping to one day own her own vineyard, she jumped at the opportunity, even though it meant taking a risk and leaving a secure job. Her time in France gives her invaluable experience in all aspects of managing a vineyard, harvesting grapes, and subsequent processing. A failed romance with one of the estate owners made her return to the States where she secures a job in Napa, California. A chance meeting with an old man, who owns a rundown vineyard, results in a partnership to harvest his grapes and produce a vintage. But just as her dream is about to come true, disaster strikes.

With Decanted, Linda Sheehan gives readers an enchantingly rich novel filled with superbly written narrative and exciting dialogue that reveals a world about wine and wine-making few people know about or understand. Samantha is a forceful personality who dominates everyone she touches. She does not allow anyone to stand in her way to become a successful winemaker, not even love for an old flame she left in France. Linda Sheehan weaves an intricate tapestry around Samantha and the people in her life that makes Decanted more than just a story. It is a window into Sam as a developing young woman with a vision and determination to succeed, but not at any cost. This novel offers an experience that will leave readers immensely satisfied. I enjoyed reading Decanted and, along the way, I learned something more about wine tasting and how wines are made.

Jennifer Ibiam

In the 1930s, teenager Vivian Goodyear left for Paris after high school. Nothing could stifle Viv’s dreams or prevent her from exploring. Vivian’s life was an adventure, from attending art school to modeling, falling in love, the Nazi experience, and an unmatched love of wines. Fast forward to the present time featuring her great-niece, Samantha. Samantha was a brilliant accountant for the firm Weatherhouse, who inherited her aunt’s love for wines. However, the job gave her little time for anything else, and life was boring. An office situation, a wise neighbor, chaotic parents, and passion helped Samantha make the ultimate decision. She dropped everything and left for France to learn winemaking, but life had a surprise package for her. Will Samantha live a fulfilled life like Vivian? Follow her journey in Decanted by Linda Sheehan.

Decanted by Linda Sheehan was an even-paced, riveting novel that everyone should read. It featured discoveries, passion, love, lust, loss, culture shock, reality, resilience, and quality relationships. The novel had an enticing balance from the premise to the plot, story, and character development. If you never paid much attention to wine, this book will pique your interest. Aunty Vivian was a gift that kept giving! I loved her. However, Samantha was also a powerhouse like her aunt before her. Her determination, passion, priorities, and heart were impressive. This review would be incomplete if I don't give kudos to Benson and Spencer! In life, we need allies and cheerleaders who will get their hands dirty with us while being the voices of reason. Benson and Spencer were heroes! I took home many lessons from this book, and I applaud Linda for her talent for storytelling. Is there a future for Benson and Sam?