Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini. New Hardcover First Edition, 405 pages. Dutton; 1st edition (2012). Autographed by Jennifer Chiaverini.
“Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive, showcasing the effects of Prohibition on farmers in Sonoma Valley. ” — Romantic Times
“[An] emotionally compelling tale.” —Chicago Tribune
“Chiaverini does an excellent job of describing the lush landscapes of California wine country, while simultaneously painting a touching portrait of the difficulties faced by farming families who must tend to one another, as well as the earth.” —Publishers Weekly
As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Diaz Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the Federal purview.
Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease currently afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa’s resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.
As a flash flood traps Rosa and her children in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave—or foolhardy—enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa’s first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to San Francisco, where a leading specialist offers beneficence far greater than this physician’s oath, directing them to a family farm where the children can convalesce while the adults work the harvest of luscious grapes.
Yet even in rural Sonoma County, safety continues to elude the fugitives. New identities offer scant protection from Rosa’s vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents—officers representing a department often as corrupt as the mob itself.
Drawn to the plight of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal, Rosa aspires to learn their craft. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa’s daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma County vineyard.
Rich with the vibrant detail of one of America’s most storied eras, Sonoma Rose is a novel of passions – for love and work and family – that yields a generous bounty.