“The Good Wine” by Amy Schisler

The Good Wine

Amy Schisler
Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing (2021)
ISBN: 978-1734690743
Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (12/2021)

“The Good Wine” written by Amy Schisler is a beautiful love story about overcoming loss, reconnecting, and finding forgiveness. When Marta comes from Italy to visit her aunt in America, she has no idea of the romantic excitement of forbidden love that awaits her. Years later, Marta returns to the place of her youth, hoping to find answers to questions left unanswered.

I really enjoyed reading this story from cover to cover. The characters are engaging, and I particularly enjoyed how the book was structured to gradually reveal what happened to Marta. The story alternates between Marta’s old diary entries and the present day, a clever way to incorporate Marta’s past and the current timeline. I have to admit, the way the book unfolded was addicting. I finished it in record time because I was so eager to find out what had happened in the past, or what would happen to Marta next.

I also really liked how the author incorporated the Christian themes of redemption and following God’s plan. Although Catholicism was a pretty important aspect of the characters’ lives, I don’t feel the religious themes would detract from most readers’ enjoyment of the story as long as they’re open minded. In the same way the vineyard and Italy were a backdrop that added ambiance and grounded the characters in realism, I felt incorporating their thoughts on faith and beliefs did the same.

I enjoyed being transported back to 1983 and discovering “Little Italy” alongside Marta. The cast of characters she meets are all very intriguing, especially a certain someone. I don’t want to say too much and ruin the anticipation for other readers. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories that are similar to “Under the Tuscan Sun.” The romance is clean without a lot of details, so it’s appropriate for a mature audience who doesn’t wish to be bombarded with eroticism.

Suffice it to say, Marta is a fun protagonist to follow on her life’s journey. This is a character-driven work that will leave you feeling warm and emotional. It’s quite possible that I cried a few times along the way.

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