For as long as anyone could remember, the Schallers and the Newmans had been enemies. When the skeletal remains of a victim of foul play are discovered at the Schaller estate, a decades-old feud between the rival winemaking families is reignited and dark secrets begin to see the light of day. Set against the lush backdrop of the rolling hills of California’s Central Coast, The New York Times best-selling author Barbara Wood’s thirtieth novel is a generation-spanning saga of love, treachery, and bitterly held grudges.
This is a family saga. It spans decades of lies, deceit, grudges and love, like only a good family saga can do. The story starts with a bang. The finding of skeletal remains behind a wall at the winery opens many questions. Who is it? Who put the body there? “What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
It rotates between two narrators, Clara and her great, great granddaughter, Nicole. I enjoyed these strong willed women. Clara especially, she is a tough lady determined to overcome. Whether it’s rape or prohibition, Clara lets nothing get in her way.
Like I said, the story begins with a great mystery but then, it drags a little. I did skip a few pages in the beginning. I got tired of hearing about all of Clara’s work, her washing, her hauling water, her cooking. This went on for several pages. I almost put it down. I am glad I didn’t. The tale picks up and weaves a novel fraught with family betrayals and lies.
I have not read Barbara Wood in years. I have loved many of her novels. Virgins of Paradise and Soul Flame are two of the best books I have ever read. So, I was excited when I won a copy of her new novel.
However, this is a bit too descriptive in places and to be honest, too long. The author could have cut this read by at least 100 pages. That being said…I did enjoy this tale. The mystery surrounding the body, the family secrets, the winery, all create a wonderful family saga
I received this novel from Edelweiss for a honest review.