Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wine & Romance

Man, am I a bad blogger or what. Time flies. It's not that I haven't been reading or traveling. I have been doing both. I just didn't realize how much time had passed!

I've read a few things lately so I will get a few more posts going especially as we head into summer holiday and cottaging season.

My brother-in-law Jim is a great source for books and this one, Miranda's Vines, is a recommendation from him. This is an easy, breezy book that incorporates many of my favorite things: wine, food, romance.

In addition to being a single mother, Miranda is a top chef in San Francisco, and struggling with the demands of the misogynistic restaurant world, her ambitions and her maternal instincts. When her father dies, she heads back to Oregon to take care of business including the winery that she has inherited. The rustic winery is the coveted prize of big business commercial winemakers and Miranda finds herself torn between protecting her father's legacy (including the people who have been part of her life from childhood) and pursuing what she thinks is her ambition in the restaurant business. Throw in some subtle romantic twists and great descriptions of wine and food and you have something, on the surface, that is light, entertaining and gratifying.

However, dig a little deeper, read between the lines a little bit more, and you see the complexity of the father/daughter relationship (I could write an epic on this topic myself), the richness of female friendships and women's battles to balance career and motherhood (guilt almost wholly self-inflicted, again I could write pages on this topic).

Sometimes the light, frothy stuff pleasantly surprises with deeper undertones. Much like a good wine.

Miranda's Vines
Kimberly Kafka
E. F. Dutton