Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring The Vintner's Daughter by Kristen Harnisch.  The excerpts shared are from the Kindle version I purchased. 
 The Vintner's Daughter
Beginning:   Chapter 1   Confession
June 30, 1896, NEW YORK CITY
The air was thick with the putrid smell of man and horse.  Sara Thibault walked swiftly up Mott Street, taking care to life the hem or her dress and sidestep the heaps of muck without breaking her stride.  Like the squabbling of chickens, the street noises swirled all around her.
56% of Ebook:  "The exhilaration Sara felt as she disembarked from the steam train at the Napa depot was only mildly tempered by fear: here she was, arriving in a new city, not knowing a soul and with only fifty-four dollars to her name."
My thoughts:  This is a debut novel and first in a series.  It came highly recommended by a friend with similar reading taste.  What also sold me on this upcoming read are the settings and vineyard locale.
 From Goodreads:  A captivating historical-fiction debut: ambition, betrayal and love take a spirited young woman from the verdant Loire Valley to turn-of-the-century Manhattan to the wide open spaces of California wine country

Loire Valley, 1895. When seventeen-year-old Sara Thibault's father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family, whose eldest son marries Sara's sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels Sara and her sister to flee to New York, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father's footsteps as a master winemaker.

Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa by 1900. When he receives word of his brother's death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has traveled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe in a Napa vineyard, they are instantly drawn to one another, but Sara knows he is the one man who could return her family's vineyard to her, or send her straight to the guillotine.

A riveting, romantic tale of betrayal, retribution, love and redemption, Kristen Harnisch's debut novel immerses readers in the rich vineyard culture of both the Old and New Worlds, the burgeoning cities of turn-of-the-century America and a spirited heroine's fight to determine her destiny.

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