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Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite
The California Wife by Kristen Harnisch is the sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter by the same author. Sara Lemieux is recovering from all the tragedies that have befallen her and reveling in her new marriage to Philippe. Their vineyard at Eagle’s Run shows great promise for the harvest ahead, and Sara has many visions of happy family experiences while raising her nephew, Luc. However, secrets from both their pasts will come back to put a damper on the marriage, as well as unexpected obstacles to their success as vintners. Will the Lemieux family manage to overcome the seemingly impossible and find joy and balance in their hectic lives?
The California Wife by Kristen Harnisch takes the reader on a wonderful journey across the globe. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Napa Valley, as well as France, and even San Francisco. Having grown up in California, it was brilliant to see a historical fiction novel set in places I know well. Sara’s struggles as a woman on the cusp of the 20th century gave an insight to the troubles women were facing at the time, striving to obtain equal rights, including the vote. Miss Harnisch has done excellent research, something I truly appreciate in a historical novel.
Although this title is marketed as a standalone, I do feel reading the first novel would have provided some much needed background information. However, Miss Harnisch makes a concerted effort to ensure that if you’ve picked up this novel before The Vintner’s Daughter, you are brought up to speed on the events of the past. The California Wife kept my interest from beginning to end. Now I need to read the first novel to learn more about Sara and her journey before marrying Philippe!