I would absolutely recommend this book. It is a delightful tale of family, intrigue, romance (of course), wine, and has an unexpected twist at the end.
It had all of the elements of the best Nora Roberts books: strong family relationships, an interesting story line, and a bonus two romances instead of one. The insights into wine making in California and in Italy were interesting. The characters were real - I especially enjoyed the teenage girl.
I have not listened to any other stories narrated by Laural Merlington but to my non-Italian ear, she did a fabulous job.
I was much too tempted to listen to it in one sitting - and did stay up too late one evening to listen to the end of it.
It is an audiobook that I will listen to several times again, I am sure.
I enjoyed the story but it was somewhat painful listening to it. The narrator has an odd cadence or manner that is hard to endure. At first I thought it was an unusual affect for a specific character but realized it was the narrator's own affect that was somewhat akin to uptalking. Very distracting and irritating. I usually listen to my Nora Roberts audiobooks more than once. I could barely make myself finish listening to this one the first time.
Sharyn McCrumb is an incredible storyteller and this book does not disappoint. The story spans generations and alternates between them with a family's ballad tying them together. I realized that the added benefit of listening to this particular story on audio was that I could actually hear the song (instead of just reading it). As a result I began singing it around the house and it still haunts me, days after finishing the book. Excellent story... and song.
I know this isn't a science fiction novel, but it would be nice if the author had taken an hour or two to research the brain so the original premise for the story (a brain transplant into a super model) weren't so blatantly not possible. Brains require oxygen, so a transplant would only be conceivable if the dying patient were in the hospital at the time of death, doctors were ready, and the cause of death were something not related to lack of oxygen. Secondly, even "minor" brain surgery takes a lot of recovery time. The character would not be doing strenuous modeling gigs AND full-time school less than 3 months after a brain transplant. Could we be just a tiny bit real??
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