Release Date: July 31, 2001
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Natalie Seebring is the image of obedience — exquisitely mannered, socially adept, the long-time wife of a successful vineyardist. So when she announces plans to marry a vineyard employee soon after her husband’s death, her son and daughter are stunned. But they don’t know the truth of her life — her love of the vineyard, her role in its growth, the sacrifices she made for her family.
Unable to talk about these things, Natalie hires Olivia Jones to write it all down. Olivia is a dreamer, living vicariously through the old photographs she restores. A summer at Natalie’s Rhode Island vineyard — offering an elegant home by the shore, an interesting job, and money enough for Olivia to hire a tutor for her dyslexic daughter — is the answer to a prayer.
The idyll is short-lived. When Natalie’s son and daughter appear, Olivia is forced to buffer their hostility. Simon Burke, the vineyard manager, sees Olivia and Tess as an unwelcome reminder of the wife and daughter he lost. And the reality of Olivia’s own life looms large — the mother who never wanted her and a career that has floundered.
"Delinsky is an expert at portraying strong women characters who come to realize how much can be learned from the older generation...High drama, beautiful scenery, and resilient yet sensitive characters make this a must for all Delinsky fans and a perfect introduction to her work for new readers."
"Delinsky, popular author of modern romantic fiction (Lake News; Coast Road) has written another enjoyable novel."
On what had begun as just another June day in Manhattan, Susanne Seebring Malloy returned to her Upper East Side brownstone after lunch with friends to find a saffron yellow envelope in the mail. She knew it was from her mother, even without the vineyard logo in the upper left corner or her mother's elegant script in the address. Between the Asquonset, Rhode Island, postmark and the scent of Natalie's trademark freesia, there was no doubt at all.
Susanne stepped out of her Ferragamos and curled her toes in dismay. A letter from her mother was the last thing she needed. She would look at it later. She was feeling hollow enough as it was.
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The Vineyard was actually inspired by Tom Brokaw’s ‘The Greatest Generation.’ Reading that book, I began thinking about those people, now in their sixties, seventies, and eighties, who lived through turbulent times stoically and in silence. It occurred to me that I was oblivious of the strength that they showed. I have also been guilty of sugar-coating the past — believing that the lives of our parents and grandparents were simpler and, therefore, easier.
I wrote The Vineyard in part to honor these seniors who, to this day, remain silent about so much. You all know who you are. I tip my hat to you!
For me, one of the highlights of writing The Vineyard was learning about World War II. I never did study it in school. June always arrived before we got that far. So I studied it now for the first time. I learned about how Hitler came to power, how he set out to conquer the world, how America resisted entering the war until our own shores were threatened. I learned about life here in the States during the war. It was enlightening.
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