Something in the Wine by Tricia Stringer

‘Keely Mitchell peered at the numbers on the overhead panel and stopped beside 19B.’

Keely Mitchell, a secondary school teacher, was looking forward to her three-month holiday in Western Australia.  She had been planning a trip overseas with her friend Bec, but those plans had to be put on hold.  Instead, Keely plans to explore Broome and the Kimberley region.  Unfortunately, a medical emergency requiring surgery in Perth intervenes. Thanks to Euan Levallier, a kind stranger Keely met on the flight from Adelaide to Perth, she can recuperate on his family’s vineyard in the Margaret River region.

At Levallier Dell Wines, Keely meets Euan’s son Flynn.  Euan and Flynn are both committed winemakers, but they have different views about the future.  Keely finds the tension between them uncomfortable, and she is made feel like an outsider by one family friend.  But Keely also meets others who share some of her creative interests and she is also able to assist the Levalliers. 

Keely has feelings for Flynn, but she is convinced that he is only interested in the beautiful, vivacious Kat – the granddaughter of a neighbouring vintner.

I picked this novel up, looking to escape into a rural romance.  I enjoyed this novel: Ms Stringer’s depictions of some of the challenges of small communities, of tensions within family businesses, and of the efforts of well-meaning busybodies brought a smile to my face.  And the ending was perfect.

This is the third of Ms Stringer’s novels I have read, and I have enjoyed each of them.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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