Set in the vineyards of the north west part of the USA, The Vineyard of Painted Moon introduces us to the important roles of wine producing. Chief among them is the winemaker and in this case this would be Mackenzie Dienes and she works for her husband’s family business. And… she is really good at her job, passionate to be precise.
The family? Well there is Rhys her husband, and his sisters Lori, Stephanie and Four! At the centre of all the action is the matriarch Barbara. Some of these characters are likeable and some not so much. The story is set off by a lovely man proposing to Barbara and giving her a beautiful ring. They look so in love. It sets in play for some of the characters the realisation that they are not living either truthful or satisfying lives. Some way through the book it clicked with me that Bruno who first appears at the vineyards Summer Solstice party, we have met before in another story.
I loved the choices Mackenzie made along the way. She had a lot to deal with. The family is the only one she knows, she has no family of her own. Stephanie is her best friend, she is divorced and struggling rather in life to find passion and meaning.
Barbara is something else, its a wonder all her children are even as sane as they are. She is a controlling woman, and doesn’t seem to know much about unconditional love. Her son Rhys I couldn’t make sense of. We didn’t see into his mind but could only judge him by what he says and does. I was left feeling sad for him.
I don’t want to give the plot away. Don’t read the blurb before you start this, go straight in, which as it happens I did, so even the beginning spoilers I didn’t have. I picked this book up when I was just not finding reading engaging.
The Vineyard at Painted Moon soon picked me up out of that slump and I loved every minute of the book, I kept wanting more and more. The challenges the characters faced, the plot the final epilogue all my kind of read.