The Shortest Way Home

Miriam Parker. Dutton, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4186-0
Parker’s rewarding debut concerns 30-year-old Hannah Greene’s decision to quit the plum finance job she had lined up after business school in order to stay in Sonoma and work at a winery where she feels at home. Hannah and Ethan Katz, her boyfriend of two years, are about to graduate with business degrees from Haas School and move back to New York together when they come across Bellosguardo, an old winery, where Hannah immediately clicks with the owners’ son, William. Impulsive Hannah decides to offer her marketing skills to William’s mother, Linda, in order to turn around the winery’s fortunes. William is about to move to New York himself in order to pursue his dream of making movies, but he acknowledges the spark he feels with Hannah. Parker’s characters have all experienced the burden of balancing what they want with expectations: Linda’s marriage with William’s dad, Everett, turns out to have been one of convenience. Linda’s heart is still with her high school boyfriend, Jackson, a musician who reappears in Linda’s life now and again. Linda considers leaving Everett when he has a heart attack, which brings William back to Sonoma and leaves Hannah poring over which man she belongs with. Parker’s story becomes less about being happy with a particular guy than about finding happiness by following one’s heart. The refreshing ending is the perfect capper to this accomplished debut. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 07/31/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-5247-4188-4
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-058-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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