by JoAnn Ross
Release Date: September 7, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born to a different mother, discover that they’re now responsible for the family’s Oregon vineyard—and for a family they didn’t ask for.
After a successful career as a child TV star, Tess is, for the first time, suffering from a serious identity crisis, and grieving for the absent father she’s resented all her life.
Charlotte, brought up to be a proper Southern wife, gave up her own career to support her husband's political ambitions. On the worst day of her life, she discovers her beloved father has died, she has two sisters she never knew about and her husband has fallen in love with another woman.
Natalie, daughter of Jack’s longtime mistress, has always known about her half sisters, and has dreaded the day when Tess and Charlotte find out she’s the daughter their father kept.
As the sisters reluctantly gather at the vineyard, they’re soon enchanted by the Swann family matriarch and namesake of Maison de Madeleine wines, whose stories of bravery in WWII France and love for a wounded American soldier will reveal the family legacy they've each inherited and change the course of all their lives.
The Inheritance is a departure from the contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels usually written by JoAnn Ross. While this first women's fiction offering from Ross has romantic threads, it's primary focus is the journeys of the Swann matriarch and her three adult granddaughters.
Ross pulled me in from the beginning and kept me eagerly turning pages as secret after secret was revealed to and by the Swann women. Discovering your father has died is enough of a jolt but for two of the man's daughters, it's compounded by the knowledge that they have half-sisters, and a grandmother, they never knew existed. Oh, and also a vineyard and winery in Oregon that they now own. As you can imagine, it's a situation fraught with complications, tension, and complex feelings. Ross conveys all of this through the thoughts and actions of each of the women. I appreciated that she didn't offer up any easy resolutions but rather, allowed the story to play out with all the confusion, hurt feelings, and anger that was to be expected. It made the gradual acceptance more meaningful.
I was fascinated by Madeleine's stories of WWII, her strength and bravery, how it led her to her life in Oregon, and how the events of her youth perhaps influenced the actions of her son. I enjoyed how the stories were used to draw the women into the circle of the Swann family, revealing to them a heritage they had not known, strengthening their bonds to both the family and the land, and helping them take the first steps toward understanding - and perhaps forgiveness - for the father who left them behind.
I also enjoyed the fact that each of the granddaughters had an individual journey, a growth arc, and a new beginning as they also began to gel and move forward as sisters. Their stories were emotional, empowering, and, in some cases, romantic.
JoAnn Ross is a gifted storyteller regardless of the genre in which she's writing but I do hope she'll return to women's fiction again in the future. She has a voice well suited to this type of fiction.
Birthday Giveaway #2:
Do you enjoy dual-timeline stories?
Are you a wine drinker? What's your favorite kind?
One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, September 4 will receive a book from my stash.
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited
I do enjoy dual timeline stories. I should read more of them. Sadly, I can't drink most wines in the US because of the sulfites. Migraines are worse than not drinking wine. I'm very lucky that there is a winery in my city that makes wine without adding extra sulfites!ReplyDelete
I'm in the same predicament as you, Glenda. Sulfites give me severe headaches. Which is why I pretty much turn into a wine lush whenever I visit Italy. LOLDelete
Yes, I do enjoy them. And I just love cabernet savignon. I normally have a glass with dinner.ReplyDelete
I enjoy dual time novels since they are captivating and extremely profound. This story sounds unforgettable. I don't drink wine.ReplyDelete
Dual time line stories give me great pleasure and enjoyment. Very meaningful and memorable. I am not a big wine drinker but will when we are visiting.ReplyDelete
I don't enjoy dual timeline stories, as they are confusing to me. I do like an occasional glass of wine & prefer Moscato.ReplyDelete
I think this book is one you might not find confusing as the WWII timeline is always prefaced by the present-day grandmother gathering her granddaughters to "tell the story" of her time with the French Resistance.Delete
Yes, I do enjoy them and no to the wine :)ReplyDelete
As long as I can follow the dual time line, I do enjoy reading about the different time periods. I do like wine. I prefer reds. Cabernet and Merlot are my two favorites. bluedawn95864 at gmail dot comReplyDelete
I don't recall ever reading a dual-time line story. I do drink wine and enjoy a good glass of Moscato every now and then.ReplyDelete
I do like dual storylines. And I love WWII stories. I love the hairstyles, clothing, shoe styles and the music is great. Not much of a wine drinker. The cover of this book is wonderful. I remember as a young girl, I put on my mother's hose for a particular outing. The garter belt was pure torture. But getting those seams straight was impossible.ReplyDelete
I do enjoy duaI-time stories, especially when the author has immersed themselves in story line details, and each era is well-represented. I am an appreciator of wine, and I love to cook and serve good wine which complements the food. My personal favorite wine is Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante. I love sparkling wine--sparkling cider too!ReplyDelete
If the time changes are handled well, yes, I like them. But,I have seen some which I felt the author did not handle well. I am a fan of WWII stories, and this does sound like something I would like.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review. Hope everyone is well and safe and happy.
Depending on how well it's handled, I do enjoy dual timelines. They can be almost like being gifted with two stories (a bonus!) if well thought out. But if not, they can end up confusing and frustrating.ReplyDelete
I'm not a wine drinker. :)
Yes and I drink white wine.ReplyDelete
I do like dual written stories, especially when it is a good writer. I love seeing both sides of the story.ReplyDelete
I am not a wine drinker at all.
I like dual timeline stories and I love red wineReplyDelete
I love dual timelines. I'm not a drinker.ReplyDelete
I like dual timeline stories. I like rose`. I like Stella Rosa wines because most are lower alcohol and they're on the sweet side.ReplyDelete
If done well, dual time line stories are enjoyable for me. You gt to know the people and the history that affect the contemporary characters, events, and story. That can strengthen the more contemporary story line.ReplyDelete
I am very happy with all the WWII set or connected books coming out. I realize it is becoming more distant a history but it is a rich source of characters, content, and stories. This one sounds like a wonderful addition to that collection. Thank you for such an informative review that doesn't have any spoilers.
Yes I am a wine drinker, usually White Zinfandel or a red from a local winery. When we lived in California, we discovered a small winery and fell in love with two of their wines. We were able to get them for a short period of time after we moved, but eventually they sort of disappeared. I have forgotten the name of the winery, but the wines were Green Hungarian and Sweet Marie. They were so good. We eventually found out the winery was bought out by Gallo (I think) swallowing them up and discontinuing their line of wines.
I like dual timeline stories. The author usually takes the time to meld the stories. I don't drink wine but my daughter drinks Prosecco.ReplyDelete
I like the connection and continuity in dual timeline romances.ReplyDelete
I like an occasional glass of sweet, fruity White Zinfandel.
I love dual timeline stories and I love wine -- the first in great quantities and the second only in tiny little serving (a family curse sends searing pain through my jaw when I drink more than half a normal serving)! I've not read JoAnn Ross before, but this one sounds intriguing. Thanks, PJ.
Dual timelines, when they are done well are very enjoyable. As is red wine, my favorite is the Pino Noir from Meomi :-)ReplyDelete
Not a wine drinker at all! I do love dual timelines though. Thanks for the great review.ReplyDelete
Dual written stories are best when well written. I rarely partake in a glass of wine, but when I do it's either a Reisling or Moscato.ReplyDelete
I so want to read this book. Love dual timelines. Love sweet wines the most!ReplyDelete