Another book found via Twitter: review of True Vines by Diana Strinati Baur

ImageA few months ago I saw a post on Twitter from Gemelli Press and the title of the book it mentioned–True Vinesintrigued me. Being the consummate book nerd that I am, I became completely engulfed with finding out about this book. I tried to do so on my iPhone while sitting on the subway but the WiFi connection kept disappearing (what a luxury problem!), so I decided to wait until I was in the office to continue my search.

True Vines is a beautifully written novel by Diana Strinati Baur that tells the story of Meryl, an expat American dealing with the sudden death of her Italian winemaker husband. Instead of remaining in Italy and taking care of the vineyard, Meryl returns to her hometown in Pennsylvania, where she hopes to start fresh and repair the strained relationship she has with her sister, Janie. But already from the onset, Meryl begins to doubt whether coming home was a good idea. She is unable to push aside the memories of her life in Italy and, in her hometown, she keeps bumping into the very people who led to her exodus from Pennsylvania in the first place. But even with difficulties of readjusting to life in America after having lived a much freer life in Italy, Meryl finds that sometimes life has a way of surprising her with new acquaintances and recollections of the life she had prior to meeting Francesco, the Italian who changed her life.

Each chapter in True Vines reads like a short story. And perhaps it’s the references to winemaking that make me wish I had a glass of red wine–a barbera perhaps?–and a plate of antipasti to savour while I read.

So if you’re looking for literary women’s fiction that will touch your heart and transport you to a vineyard in autumnal fog or a sleepy town in Pennsylvania nestled on the banks of the Delaware River, then you should pick up a copy of True Vines. It’s beautifully written and paints evocative images with light, deft strokes. 

My rating? A definite 5-star novel. Absolutely loved it!

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Happy reading (and writing)!

2 thoughts on “Another book found via Twitter: review of True Vines by Diana Strinati Baur

  1. Kim, Thank you so much first for taking time to find and read True Vines and then for writing such a beautiful review and synopsis of it. Writing it was a journey for me, one of finding my way through the sea of emotions that 18 years of expat life had created. We often live with that feeling that something might happen to change everything. While a person experiencing a death or divorce or whatever while living in her own country, with her own language, in familiar, comfortable surroundings might be challenged by such an event, being far from home often means huge life change and reverberations far from what a person could imagine. That was the premise I had in mind (maybe one of my own buried worries) when I started True Vines. Thank you again.

    • Thank you, Diana, for writing such a beautiful book! 🙂 I grew up in Pennsylvania (in Philly) so reading this story reminded me of visiting my dad when he was staying in a nursing home in Easton, Pennsylvania. It also struck a chord–the strained sister relationship, the feeling of being outside one’s family, having to deal with hurt from the past. And–totally off-topic–but your B&B looks amazing. Hubby and I are Italophiles so we’ll probably be guests some day. 🙂

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