Something in the Wine by Jae
Please help me welcome our newest reviewer, Alberta Yourdan!
Thirty-year old Annie Prideaux is what some would call a wallflower–and that’s how she sees herself as well. Working as an accountant for a small firm, she prefers to share as little as possible with her colleagues about her private life and, more times than not, she spends her free-time with her cat, Amadeus, and a good book. Her experiences with men so far have been rather boring and when she is out on a date she tries to get it over with as quickly and as painlessly as possible –a fact that gives her brother Jake ample opportunity to tease her. As long as Annie can remember, Jake has been playing tricks on her so it comes as no surprise when he sets her up on a blind date with his lesbian college friend, Drew, without telling his sister that his friend is, in fact, a woman. But this time he has taken it a bit too far and Annie and Drew decide to get back at Jake and pretend they started dating. But their little revenge plan takes on a life of its own –while Drew struggles with her attraction to Annie, Annie is forced to face her demons for the first time in her life.
One of my main interests when I start reading a book is that I want to care about the characters and what happens to them. For me, there is nothing that kills the mood faster than shallow two-dimensional characters and a plot that doesn’t draw me in. “Something in the Wine” didn’t disappoint at all. Jae managed to draw me right in.
At first, when I started reading this book, I thought there wasn’t all that much to like about Annie, a rather self-doubting woman who doesn’t seem to have enough willpower to stand up to her dominant brother. But, getting into the book, I realised that there was a lot more to Annie and her thoughts and intentions. Then there is Drew. Jake’s college friend is introduced as a young woman who thought she knew where life was taking her when, all of a sudden, both her parents died and left her with the sole responsibility for the family’s vineyard. The author developed both women into three-dimensional characters by showing them in their daily lives and without giving away too much. As a reader I got to know them through their actions.
I thought it was very interesting how these quite different characters started as partners in crime, trying to get back at Jake, and became friends by seeing life through the other’s perspective. In the end, I cared very much for both women, as well as Jake, and even though the book has nearly four hundred pages, I was sad when it was finished. I would have loved to read more about those characters. And this is my only complaint. Despite its length, I felt it ended too soon without giving the reader the opportunity to learn how Annie and Drew would deal with their developing relationship, now that all the outward conflicts had been addressed. I would have loved to share in their success after having been along on the way to get there.
I can really recommend this book. And if there’s a chance to visit Annie and Drew in another book from this author I’ll be sure to get that as well.