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This was my first read of Barbara Delinsky's work and I'm hooked. The characters are appealing, interesting and come so alive you feel as they are in the room with you. Olivia, the main character, has her problems but this book doesn't dwell on them and we see her taking positive actions to create a better life for herself and her daughter. It is refreshingly optimistic without being moralistic and cliched. The plot takes the reader through a journey of true love and desire(without being mushy) both in the past and present. Both the scenery and story are created delightfully with enough pace to maintain interest but also steady enough for it to be a relaxing read. A great holiday read but not one to forget - the strength of the characters and their relationships ensures that. The ending was the reason for not giving this book 5 stars. A little predictable - but hey - the journey there was well worth it.
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So far, this has to be my least favourite Delinsky novel. It was perfectly readable and a compelling story, but it didn't have the usual engaging characters or the "pull" that made me not want to put it down. I've enjoyed a couple of Delinsky's older novels - such as A Woman Betrayed and The Woman Next Door - but this one was missing something that even those books had. I didn't care about the characters as much and to begin with Olivia just annoyed me with her neediness. I did find the story about Natalie's life fascinating and found myself thinking that it would have worked well as a purely historical novel about her family and the history of the Vineyard. Like with many books that focus on both the past and the present, I preferred the past. Olivia did grow on me and I did care about her and her daughter, but her relationship with Simon seemed to change so quickly that it was almost unrealistic. Likewise, everyone's relationship problems seemed to be sorted out very quickly at the end of the story, and although I like happy endings, it was a bit cheesy how it all worked out so easily. All in all, I did enjoy reading this book and it was something I could read on my long bus journey between Edinburgh and St. Andrews, but it's definitely not one of Delinsky's best. I'd only recommend it to hardcore Delinsky fans desperate to read all her books or someone wanting a cheap, quick read for a holiday or a long commute.
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One problem I've had when reading a book by Barbara Delinsky is that the end comes too quickly and I'm left waiting anxiously for the next new title. In the meantime, though, any reader will find as I have, that Ms. Delinsky's books are wonderful adventures and her newest book,The Vineyard, is no exception. In my opinion, it may very well be one of Ms. Delisnky's very best books. As you read this book find out as I did that The Vineyard is filled with memorable characters and a unique place, Rhode Island wine country. And then savor this book as you would any fine wine. For within the book's pages, Ms. Delinsky introduces us to two characters, Natalie Seebring and Olivia Jones, whom we will come to know and remember. These women, from different lifestyles and years apart chronologically, will not only come to learn from one another but will also become bound to one another. Thank you Ms. Delinsky for this wonderful read and please don't make me wait too long for your next book.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Olivia Jones accompanied by her nine-year old troubled daughter Tess agrees to write the memoirs of Natalie Seebring, owner of the Asquoniet Vineyard and Winery in Rhode Island. Natalie stuns her adult children, Susanne and Greg when she announces her intention to marry Carl Burke, the long-term manager of the winery although their beloved father has been dead only six months.
Iit is a struggle for her to talk about her feelings, Natalie hires Olivia to help her tell the truth to her children in order to gain their blessing for her wedding. Olivia is unaware that she is entering a major family feud. However, she quickly comes to love her employer, who makes her and her daughter feel like part of an extended family. Carl's son Simon makes Olivia want to believe in fairy tales, but she fears that he will desert her like everyone else in her life has done. Olivia, the Seebrings, and the Burkes have many personal obstacles to overcome if they are to learn what true loving means.
Because of the width of the talent, no one can predict what the next Barbara Delinsky book will be especially since the great author never repeats herself. Her novels are always different as writing style and the characters are unique to one tale only. THE VINEYARD is Barbara Delinsky at her best, delivering a first class family drama filled with a heartwarming and gut-wrenching story line. The passion and uncertainty of caring for another person and the vineyard, which seems at times like a person, feels true to life in what is certain to be the writer's latest bestseller.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I won't go over plot...the other reviewers have already done so. I just wanted to add my own agreement to how wonderful this new book is. Like another reviewer, I tried my best to read the book slowly, but before I knew it, the book was over. What I have liked about Barbara Delinsky's books, and particular the last few---Coast Road, and Lake News, it that I so easily find myself immersed in the setting. Many authors make this a minor part of the book, but she just draws me in to where I can picture myself part of the book. And after each book, I'm ready to move to the location of the setting. The characters are wonderful although I found Tess somewhat annoying. I especially enjoyed Tess, because like me, she is a dreamer.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I could not put this book down. The story is a real portrait of what families can become without nourishment. The young girl character and her problem touched the teacher in me. The mother and tutor showed great love and patience to this struggling little girl. I also loved the grace and dignity of Natalie who wasn't afraid to work hard and tell the truth about her role in the history of the vineyard. The characters and their interactions made melaugh and cry. As usually Barbara Delinsky told a wonderful tale.
Once again I am recommending a Barbara Delinsky book -- It's nearly 3 AM in the morning and I've had tears streaming down my face. I could NOT put this book down. When I first started the book I was a bit disappointed. There was such a huge cast of characters I was becoming confused and the details of grapes and winemaking seemed to bog the story down. But since I've had good luck in the past with Barbara Delinsky books, I kept with it. Boy, am I glad I did! Seventy-six-year-old Natalie Seebring is a recent widow - six months to be exact. Naturally, when they receive invitations to her wedding, her children are rather taken aback - not only is she marrying so soon after their father's death, but she is marrying Carl Burke, the manager of their vineyard of all people! Olivia Jones's job as a photo restorer is just about finished as her boss is retiring. When she receives word that Natalie Seebring, whose photos she's been restoring, is looking for an assistant, she asks her boss to recommend her. This sounds like the perfect solution for her for the summer. A young single mother, Olivia is concerned about her 10-year-old daughter Tess who just doesn't seem to fit in with her classmates. This will be the perfect opportunity for Tess and a good interim position for Olivia while she looks for another, more permanent position. Besides, after restoring all these photos she feels she knows Natalie's family - and is curious, wanting to learn more. The job as Natalie's assistant is idyllic for Olivia. She finds a tutor who is experienced in teaching dyslexic children like Tess, Carl can teach Tess tennis, and she is signed up for sailing lessons at the local yacht club. And Olivia fits right in - the Rhode Island vineyard has been having a rash of quitting employees -- and Olivia is thrown right into the mess and acts as if she's always worked there. As Olivia helps Natalie write her memoirs, she learns more of the mystery of her life - why did she marry Alexander Seebring when she had been so in love with Carl, her childhood friend and teenager love interest? More of a mystery though is Simon Burke, the brooding son of Carl. Simon has been managing the vineyard for the past six years and keeps busy with the work which has become his life after the tragic death of his wife and daughter in a sailing accident four years previously. Barbara Delinsky is a master at creating an emotional story - and with THE VINEYARD she gives readers two romances - the one of Carl and Natalie told mostly in backstory through the book Olivia is helping Natalie write, and the budding relationship between Simon and Olivia. Readers who are able to get through the first part of the book will be richly rewarded by a beautiful story. She details the workings of a Rhode Island vineyard so vividly readers could easily visualize the setting and smell the grapes. I am now itching to read the books in Delinsky's backlist that I've missed.