The Carrillos have a history in the valley that stretches as deep as grapevine roots in the soil.
During WWII, Avelino Carrillo spent four harrowing years in the South Pacific with one thought driving his survival: to return to his beloved home in Napa Valley.
For a century, they worked the vineyard at their family home, la Casa de los Sueños, until they lost the property to a wealthy land baron. Now, Avelino is determined to reclaim the land and home he loves so much.
When he meets Amelia, a young woman who lives at the vineyard with her grandfather, he finds that regaining his birthright isn’t his only struggle—he battles the longing of his heart as well.
Follow Avelino in this split-time novel as he struggles to overcome local bigotry and personal demons to create the life he desires.
My thoughts: This was such a great story that I enjoyed immensely! I loved the setting and characters, Avelino is such an exceptional hero. I loved the layers to the different characters, as well as the glimpse into the time in history. That area has such a special place in my heart, since I have an aunt and relatives that live near there, so it was fun to learn more of the history and what it might of been like after World War II.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
I Fell in Love with California & History in the Same Year
When the second pastor of small churches with private Christian schools was hauled off to jail, the pastor of our little school closed the doors—just in case. Several of us went underground as homeschoolers in a time when homeschooling was something people did when they were missionaries or lived in… Alaska or something.
There I sat at our kitchen table in Ventura, doing my schoolwork at our little kitchen table. On Wednesday and Sunday nights, I’d take tests in the school office, get my new PACEs (“Packet of Accelerated Christian Education”) and go home to work again. Sometimes, I’d sit up in my room to read the bigger chunks of information—like from my California State History PACEs.
Look, I don’t know if all states have such great history, but California’s fascinated me. I remember coloring the state map, the missions, and the flag—despite it not being required. I looked for more books about it, and in the process, I fell in love with history.
A couple of years later, my aunt brought heaping bags of books for us to read when we lived out in the middle of nowhere with no electricity or running water. We were bored. But she brought books. In those sacks? A tiny little paperback. The Legend of Susan Dane.
Although that book had its utterly ridiculous moments, it also sparked something in me. Between eyerolls of disgust at everyone fawning over Susan Dane’s reputed beauty and over a strapless dress in the last quarter of the 19th century, it showed a beautiful picture of the lives of the Californios.
That book fanned the flames of my love of history until I burned with curiosity over what was reasonable. What wasn’t. And how to find out what really happened.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and a character emerged—a Californio who refused to learn ingles for the sake of the immigrants to his country. Don Ruiz Carrillo said, “If I go to their country, I learn their language, but if they come to my country, they should learn mine.” In short, I took the words I’d heard my own father say all my life and turned it on its head. I put an American in California before statehood and without means to learn the language.
When señor Carrillo meets the young Americano with red hair and freckles, she tells a heartbreaking story that she manages to convey through pantomime and her attempts to imitate his language. Here, I deviated from my father. While Dad would be kind and helpful in teaching someone his language in his country, señor Carrillo decides that this young woman is more important than his preferences.
That story is still being written—Crushed Dreams. However, when I realized how I wanted to end the story, I knew I had a problem. The final book in this series will have a bittersweet ending—one with hope and promise, but not technically “happy.” So, I decided to write a prequel/sequel to the series—a split-time novel where the reader lives the past with the characters of the present. This way, going into the entire series, you know there’s a happy ending, so you can appreciate the heartache and sacrifice that will come in that last book.
Crushed Dreams is slated to release soon, so I’m eager to share the prequel to the Legacy of the Vines series with you.
lakesidelivingsite, April 13
A Novel Pursuit, April 13
She Lives To Read, April 14
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 15
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 16
Artistic Nobody, April 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Rebecca Tews, April 17
Connie’s History Classroom, April 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19
Texas Book-aholic, April 20
Inklings and notions, April 21
For Him and My Family, April 22
Mary Hake, April 22
deb’s Book Review, April 23
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25
CarpeDiem, April 25
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift card & paperback!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.