Hello Friends. Spring Reading is in full effect. I am determined to enjoy this season as much as possible, because I feel like it’s the season I’ve shown the least amount of love to in the past. I love beautiful spring flowers and as I reflect on it, cozy romances give me all the perfect for Spring vibes. I recently finished a semi cozy romance which was my first ever read by Jamie Raintree, Midnight At Wandering Vineyard.
Midnight At Wandering Vineyard by Jamie Raintree
Published March 26, 2019 by Graydon House
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.77 Stars
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
“Maybe no one entirely gets over their first love.”
The follow-up to Raintree’s sparkling debut Perfectly Undone, MIDNIGHT AT THE WANDERING VINEYARD brilliantly meshes the provocative relationship fiction of Jennifer Weiner with the nuanced family dynamics of Karen White in this story of a young woman who reconnects with her estranged best friend to complete their teenage bucket list, but the man who came between them years ago reappears to challenge their bond once again.
A young woman at a crossroads in her life returns home to her family’s vineyard in California when tragedy strikes and reconnects with her estranged childhood best friend. They decide to complete the bucket list they created the summer they were 18, the summer that saw their friendship torn apart. But when the man who came between them all those years ago reappears, it challenges their fragile new bond and pushes each woman to confront past hurts and buried truths.
Midnight At The Wandering Vineyard was a good book. I liked it. It was okay. I couldn’t give it more than 3.5 stars because it wasn’t anything more than just okay for me. I didn’t realize this book was a book two, or follow up book to another until I was already too far into it to turn back. I’m not sure if had I read the first book that I’d feel differently about this one or not, but I wanted to love it more than I did.
“That’s the thing with Sam. He’s always been able to either make me feel like the most important person in the world, or like I don’t exist. But never in between.”
I think my experience with reading this book was that I went into having expectations, yet not really.. I feel like this “review,” is going to be a bit all over the place, but that’s honestly how my thoughts on it are. Beautiful cover, the cover to this book is absolutely stunning. The descriptions of Mallory’s (the main character) family vineyard are breathtaking.
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what happened in the first half of this book. Have you had the experience of reading something while also being easily distracted because the story isn’t holding your attention? That was me with Midnight At The Wandering Vineyard.
Mallory returns home and it’s super tense. She is hoping to rekindle the long lost friendship between her and her ex best friend Kelly. Once upon a time, nothing could come between these two..until it did, in the form of Sam. It didn’t really hit me until further into the book that regardless of how swoon worthy Sam may be, he is also a tad bit of a douchebag.
The friendship between Mallory and Kelly felt a little over the top. I feel bad for saying that because each woman her their stuff going on..but it just felt over the top at times. I had my moments where Kelly felt a little too needy for my liking. Then there is all this tension about Mallory never coming home. I have never been to neither California nor New York, but knowing Geography, I know they are on complete opposite coasts. So I’m assuming that unless you’re financially capable, that very few are constantly making the trip back and forth between the two.
I did have a favorite part though, and that was advice Mallory’s Dad gives her about relationships. I won’t go into all the details, but I will share what his specific advice is, because I loved it:
“the first thing I think it’s important to do is let go of expectations. I’ve seen a lot of good friends divorce because they had unrealistic expectations of their spouses. But this is true in friendships, too. Take what people give you and let that be enough. Because people usually give all they’re capable of giving, the way they’re capable of giving it, and expecting more than that is just setting the relationship up to fail.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
“Relationships are the most important thing. It can take a while to figure that out, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from talking to people older than me, we all get there eventually. At a point in everyone’s life, after all the titles have been earned and the money has been made, we look around and realize none of those things have given us the happiness we’ve been searching for. But when you’re surrounded by the right people, a ten-minute conversation, walking through a vineyard with someone you love, can mean everything.”
Overall, this was an okay book. Maybe I will go back and read it’s predecessor to see if maybe I missed something. I wanted to Love it more than I did.