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Amy Schisler
Author
The Good Wine
Amy Schisler, author
You have kept the good wine until now. It was said that the award-winning Whispering Vines was “Written in the spirit of those time-honored books and movies of wine-growing and Italy such as A Walk in the Sun by Deborah Chief or Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes” (Thomas Holyday, Eastern Shore Writers Book Blog). Picking up five years after the story of Alex and Nicola, The Good Wine gives us the story of Nicola’s mother, Marta, and the forbidden love of her youth. Marta Giordano spent the first half of her life on her family’s struggling vineyard and the second half in the city of Florence as a wife and mother. However, between life on the vineyard and life with her husband and son, Marta lived a third life—a summer filled with secrets and romance—while staying with her aunt in Little Italy, Baltimore. Thirty-six years later, the widowed Marta returns to Little Italy older, wiser, and longing to reconnect with the man she left behind, but will their second chance lead to even more loss and heartache than it did the first time? Dominic DeAngelo made one mistake as a youth, and it cost him everything—the trust of his family and community, his education and promising future, and ultimately, the love of his life. For his entire adult life, Dominic has worked hard to prove to the world, and to himself, that he is a good man. Finally content with the life he has made, Dominic learns that he is destined to lose it all once again. Will a reunion with the only woman he has ever loved be the blessing he has long awaited or a curse on them both?
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: This work uses a clever narrative device, told in flashbacks through first-person diary entries intertwined with present-day third-person storytelling techniques. The switching between the two helps keep the reader engaged and offers insight into who Marta is and who she ultimately becomes.

Prose: The author is a clear and concise writer, able to keep the story moving at a steady pace which makes for an easy and enjoyable read.

Originality: This work feels original in theme, with a memorable plotline and likable characters.

Character Development/Execution: The narrative here is especially helpful in learning about Marta, her past and her present. It's an integral part of how the reader views her, seeing the world through her eyes.

Date Submitted: August 10, 2022

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