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I liked this novel very much. It’s wonderfully written with strong characterizations and a deeply lyrical sense of setting–the Santa Clara Valley of California during Prohibition. I don’t know anything about that part of California, or about growing grapes for wine, but Coates brings it all vividly to life. I loved the descriptions of the vineyard. I was completely drawn in by the characters, their passions, their mistakes. Coates is particularly good with his main character, Gill, and Gill’s c
I’d never thought about what happened to vineyards during Prohibition. Coates expertly renders this sliver of California history into a first-rate, compelling drama centered on an indomitable father, his sons, and the pain of being driven from the land you love.
It is the landscape and the harvest that draws the reader into this wonderfully crafted novel of northern California wine country during prohibition. Having exhausted the Steinbeck canon early on, I have craved tales from the rich growing region of California during a quieter era that both underlies the tranquility but also charges it with tenuous calamity. Coates provides a lovely step back to a time of innocence and innocence lost. He gives honor to the hard life of migrant workers and the pas
Lawrence Coates captures the post-WWI prohibition era of California wine-growing in all its complexity with “The Garden of the World.” A glimpse into the lives of the vineyard landowners and small towns of the day, as well as the migrant workers’ nomadic striving, bound up in a suspenseful tale of betrayal and loss. Poignant, intoxicating descriptions, especially of the wine-making process. I savored every moment.