cover image The Inheritance

The Inheritance

JoAnn Ross. HQN, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-41856-2

Ross’s moving latest (after Summer on Mirror Lake) brings together a trio of estranged half-sisters and their 90-something grandmother, a French war bride. After conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies of cancer, his daughters Tess Swann, Charlotte Swann Aldredge, and Natalie Seurat Swann are summoned to Aberdeen, Ore., for the reading of his will. Tess is a well-known writer and actress; Charlotte, an unhappily married home designer, and Natalie a photographer. To their surprise, the sisters have inherited Chateau de Madeleine, the Oregon winery their grandfather built for his French war bride, Madeleine. Handsome, widowed vintner Gideon Byrne, whom Jackson had hired to run the winery, shares in the surprise. Later, he becomes friendly with Tess, as they each open up about their respective struggles with single parenting and writing. The terms of the will are that the sisters must stay through the next harvest to inherit the business—and soon they develop the bonds of a family. Ross convincingly distinguishes each of the sisters, as well as their paternal grandmother, Madeleine, a Resistance fighter in WWII France whose story demonstrates who her granddaughters inherited strength from, and who still lives at the winery. This engrossing and hopeful story will hold readers from start to finish. [em]Agent: Anne Marie O’Farrell Marcil, O’Farrell Literary. (Sept.) [/em]