Loire Valley, 1895. When seventeen-year-old Sara Thibault's father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family whose eldest son marries Sara's sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels Sara and her sister to flee to New York, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father's footsteps as a master winemaker. Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa by 1900. When he receives word of his brother's death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has travelled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe in a Napa vineyard, they are instantly drawn to one another, but Sara knows he is the one man who could return her family's vineyard to her, or send her straight to the guillotine. This riveting tale of betrayal, retribution, love, and redemption, Kristen Harnisch's debut novel immerses readers in the rich vineyard culture of both the Old and New Worlds, the burgeoning cities of late nineteenth-century America and a spirited heroine's fight to determine her destiny.
"[A] fast-moving romantic saga about two independent, ambitious people hoping to succeed in winemaking.This relaxing summer read offers an enjoyable armchair voyage to wine country."
--Historical Novels Review
"One of the novel's highlights is it's rich history of the wine-making process through the eyes of a woman who is passionate and meticulous about each step...In the beginning, [Sara] endures nonstop pain and loss, but these tragedies transform her from a smart, hardworking girl into an independent, resourceful woman. At its core, The Vintner's Daughter is a story of perseverance and transcending one's past."
"A young French woman, determined to pursue her dreams, shows resourcefulness and endurance as she journeys from her home to America in a novel set in the late 1800s...the plot is engaging and well-paced. Wine aficionados and fans of romance and historical fiction will drink this in."
"Lush and evocative, this novel brings the Loire Valley and its glorious vineyards to life in a story that will delight readers everywhere. Enjoy with your favorite glass of Merlot!"
--Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
"A lovely novel with sparkling dialogue, intricate plot and great characters. This tale of a young girl determined to hold onto to her beloved father's vineyard in the Loire Valley will invoke inevitable comparisons to Gone with the Wind. Sara is a girl with grit and determination, and seizes what she wants from life with both hands, evolving over the course of the novel from an impetuous, headstrong girl to a mature woman. A pleasure."
--Roberta Rich, author of The Harem Midwife and The Midwife of Venice
"An accomplished debut novel about passion and betrayal, loss and redemption, The Vintner's Daughter takes you on a journey through vineyard-filled valleys on two continents, in language so evocative that after I turned the last page, I expected to look up and see the Loire."
--Janie Chang, author of Three Souls
" The Vintner's Daughter is as compelling and complex as its heroine, taking us on an unforgettable journey from France to California's Napa Valley, where providence rules and passions collide. Kristen Harnisch skillfully weaves the history of the wine industry into a visceral and haunting love story--to be read with a favorite glass of wine."
--Holly Lynn Payne, author of The Virgin's Knot and Damascena