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The Vintner's Daughter

The California Wife

About the Book

In the sweeping, poignant sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter, the Lemieux family’s ambition to establish an American winemaking dynasty takes Sara and Philippe from pastoral Napa to the Paris World’s Fair and into the colourful heart of early 20th-century San Francisco

It is 1897, and Sara and Philippe Lemieux, newly married and full of hope for the future, are determined to make Eagle’s Run, their Napa vineyard, into a world-renowned winemaking operation. But the swift arrival of the 20th century brings a host of obstacles they never dreamed of: price wars and the twin threats of phylloxera and prohibition endanger the success of their business, and the fiercely independent Sara is reluctant to leave the fields behind for the new and strange role of wife and mother.

An invitation to the World’s Fair in 1900 comes just in time to revive the vineyard’s prospects, and amid the jewel-coloured wonders of Belle epoque Paris, Sara and Philippe’s passion is rekindled as well. But then family tragedy strikes, and, upon their return to California, a secret from Philippe’s past threatens to derail their hard-won happiness in one stroke.

Sara gains an ally when Marie Chevreau, her dear friend, arrives in San Francisco as the first female surgery student to be admitted to prestigious Cooper Medical College. Through Marie, Sara gets a glimpse of the glittering world of San Francisco’s high society, and she also forges friendships with local women’s rights advocates, inciting new tensions in her marriage. Philippe issues Sara an ultimatum: will she abandon the struggle for freedom to protect her family’s winemaking business, or will she ignore Philippe and campaign for a woman’s right to vote and earn a fair wage?

Fate has other plans in store in the spring of 1906, which brings with it a challenge unlike any other that the Lemieux family or their fellow Northern Californians have ever faced. Will the shadow of history overwhelm Sara and Philippe’s future, despite their love for each other? In The California Wife, Kristen Harnisch delivers a rich, romantic tale of wine, love, new beginnings, and a family’s determination to fight for what really matters—sure to captivate fans of The Vintner’s Daughter and new readers alike.


“Will invoke inevitable comparisons to Gone with the Wind. . . . A pleasure.” —ROBERTA RICH, AUTHOR OF THE HAREM MIDWIFE AND THE MIDWIFE OF VENICE

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Critical Praise

“It was easy to get lost in the pages of The California Wife, Harnisch’s compelling new novel. . . . This sweeping tale is a true delight.” —Linda Holeman, bestselling author of The Linnet Bird

“Rich with setting and story. . . . Harnisch weaves history and family passion together so seamlessly that I had to remind myself I was reading fiction. This is a simply stunning follow-up to The Vintner’s Daughter. Both enlightening and delightful. Bravo!” —Carla Stewart, author of Stardust

“You’ll want to cheer for Sarah Lemieux as she tries to balance, love, family, and independence in a time when women were expected to obey. Rich in history, passion, and community, The California Wife is a novel that continues to surprise until the very end.” —Marci Nault, author of The Lake House

“Fans of historical fiction, heart-pounding romance and remarkable women, look no further. . . . An exquisite read from start to finish.” —Alexandria Brown, Napa County Historical Society Research Librarian

“Like a Napa Valley vintner, Harnisch’s skillful blend of 19th century societal norms and details about wine-making practices never overwhelms the characters but enriches them so that they will captivate your heart. You’ll long remember this beautiful story about redemption, forgiveness, love, and family bonds.” —Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise

“I recommend this book to wine lovers and historical fiction fans alike!” —Tina Vierra, Associate Publisher, Wines & Vines

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443426466
  • ISBN 10: 1443426466
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 01/26/2016
  • Pages: 432
  • List Price: 22.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / General

The California Wife by Kristen Harnisch

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