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Seasons of the Vineyard

Francesca Bernard ran away from her family vineyard because she was determined to live a different life--one without the grapes and her secrets. But when Enrico, the foreman, calls her home because her father's dementia is making it impossible for him to manage the vineyard, she and her son return and discover the vineyard and her father in dire need. She assumes her father's role and deals with the complexities of running the vineyard, his aging, and Enrico's advances.

The grapes are struggling. Money is tight. Her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Her teenaged son experiments with drugs, and Enrico is still in love with her. Through sweat and hard work, Francesca rediscovers that the rhythms of the vineyard are deeply restorative. She becomes certain of one thing: she wants to resurrect the vineyard and prove everyone wrong. She is willing to do just about anything to prove she can be a world-class vintner--even if that means sleeping with the competition. Her relationship with the bad boy of the Sonoma Valley sparks jealously in Enrico, and he abandons her and the besieged vineyard. Francesca is left to fend for herself, but is determined to uncover the secret of the Zinfandel wine that once made the vineyard famous.

This wine will allow her to become a renowned vintner, but the secret is buried with her mother. How is Francesca able to save the vineyard and uncover the secret of the Zinfandel, deal with the past, and come to terms with her true love?

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By Yuke Man, Reviewer, Allbooks Review International.
The truth will set you free! Sept. 2012

"Seasons of the Vineyard" is about how Francesca Bernard has to learn the long and hard way about the truth setting her free. She is haunted by her past mistakes but she is unwilling to confront them. She is unwilling to right the wrongs she has committed. She does not want to admit the truth about herself and you have to read this book to find out why.

Francesca's life is in a mess. She has run away from her past life in her parent's vineyard, but her past is now catching up on her. Her organic restaurant business has become a pain. Her teenage son is into drugs. She blames her ex-husband for his absence from her son's life. After her divorce, all her ex boyfriends have failed to satisfy her. Her best friend has just died and it hurts her to hear about it on the news. Worst, she has just received a call that her father is losing his mind and the family vineyard business is failing badly. Her mother has died in her absence from home. Reluctantly she has to admit she has to go home. The call to return home is made by none other than her ex lover whom she has been trying to run away from, in the first place.

Francesca thought she has run away from the rumor circulating in the vineyards that her son is not her husband's. She knew the rumor is true. Why then, did she choose to marry her husband and not marry her son's biological dad, Enrico. She knows Enrico loves her but she refuses and continues to refuse to allow herself to return his love. You have to read the book to find out why.

The author, Catherine, cleverly shows, through Francesca, that you cannot run away from yourself. She shows that when Francesca finally faces the truth about herself, the truth does indeed set her free.

This is a satisfying book. You can't help but get involved in Francesca's life, feel her pains, cheer her on and feel relief when she finally comes to term with herself. I especially like the ending, it is so tender. However, you have to read the book from the beginning to enjoy the ending where every layer of bitterness, complexity and denial has been removed under the author's skillful writing. I highly recommend this book. It will satisfy.

By Linda Johnson "Linda Barnett-Johnson"
I recommend this book, highly. Loved it!, May 24, 2012

I have read and written reviews for a few books. None have left me wanting more than this book, Seasons of the Vineyard. If you like a strong woman character, this is the book for you. I couldn't put it down. There are twists and turns throughout. I spoke out loud in a few places. Pleading or getting angry at some of the events. But that's a sign of a great book. You get involved. You can't help it.

If you love learning too, this book will take you to wine country where the author, Catherine MacDonald, shows you how grapes are grown and how wine is made. You know that Ms. MacDonald has done her research. It's very educational as well as a great romance. I laughed in spots and got mad in others. That's the sign of a well-written book. Ms. MacDonald has a knack for pulling you in from the beginning and makes you want more when you are finished.

This book is for women and men. Men can learn about the wine making process and how a strong woman can achieve through hard work and determination. Women will love and identify with the main character, Francesca, as she is pulled in many different directions, but finally does what she is meant to do, run a successful vineyard. I don't want to give anything away, so get the book today. You'll be glad you did.


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