Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Valley Fever; Katherine Taylor

Valley Fever; Katherine Taylor
Farrar, Straus & Giroux - 2015

INTRO---"I don't return to places I've lived.  I avoid my high school dorm by not going back to all of Massachusetts.  In London, I'll avoid Holland Park so as not to be reminded of the basement flat on Addison Road.  The furnished two-bedroom on Via Annia in Rome, the bright studio in the white brick building on West Eighty-fourth Street with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the two bedroom in Prenzlauer Berg I shared with a publishing-heiress insomniac who would speak only Russian: some of those places were good for a while. Still, whole neighborhoods, whole cities can be ruined by the reasons you left."

It's probably not a good sign when you move across the country from NY to CA to be with your significant other and less than a year later he tells you, "I think I only love you when I'm drunk."  Such is the situation for Ingrid Palameade who hasn't had the best of luck with relationships. 

With her sister Annie coming to her rescue at the airport after this latest breakup, she takes Ingrid back to her home to think about her life over the last (10) years since she finished college. Why has she moved from place to place and relationship to relationship?  With some hesitation Ingrid decides to return home to her family and their 20,000 acre vineyard around Fresno.  Her father's health is failing, her mother is stuck in a rut and her uncle drinks a bit too much (wine goes well with every me
al).  With her father's illness,  Ingrid soon begins running the family business, and even connecting with friends from her past.

I had a tough time with this novel. The writing is mostly dialogue driven with almost no character development. It could have been so much better if there was more of a plot progression and subsequent resolution.  One of the best features of the story was the way the story appealed to senses when the author describes the perfect conditions for wine making, facts about growing and harvesting almonds and CA agriculture in general. I thought the cover was pretty cool as well, but overall, this novel didn't work well for me.

2.5/5 stars
(eGalley)

16 comments:

  1. I love the cover so I'm disappointed this isn't a great story.

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  2. Thanks for the great review. I don't think I will be putting this on my reading list :)

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    2. Denise with so many good books out there, that's a wise decision.

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  3. Sorry the book wasn't a hit with you!

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  4. I hate when this happens with a book, although I bet it has fans somewhere I don't think this would be one for me either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Lainey, I did she a few positive reviews but most were not.

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  5. The premise caught my attention but I think with no character development and all dialogue I don't think this is the book for me. I have a feeling I'd end up feeling disconnected. Great review!

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    1. For such a short book it was tough to get though at times.

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  6. I probably wouldn't care for that on either.

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  7. I would think that in a story like this, character would be essential. Lack of such development would likely ruin it for me.

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  8. Exactly, All dialogue and very lite plot or character devopment bores the life out of me.

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  9. The cover got my attention too. Too bad the story wasn't as good!

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