Come Pour the Wine by Cynthia Freeman
New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Freeman’s powerful tale of a woman in search of her sacred heritage, who must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for love
Nineteen-year-old Janet Stevens leaves Wichita, Kansas, for New York—and a glamorous career as a model. Manhattan in the 1950s is a heady place for a sheltered Midwesterner. A new friend helps her discover her forefathers’ faith, but from the moment she sees Bill McNeil at a party, Janet senses she’s found her future. When they marry, she believes she’s finally gotten what she always wanted—not fame or fortune, but the love that will fulfill and sustain her as nothing else ever could.
From the passionate throes of youth to the stings and shocks of middle age, Come Pour the Wine draws a brilliant portrait of a marriage and a family in search of its roots, written with Cynthia Freeman’s trademark insight and compassion.
I gave this book three stars out of five
I enjoyed this book, up to a point. The story, rather than simply being a straightforward romance seemed to develop into a story about second chances. I gave it three stars because of, amongst other things, what I felt was needless wordiness, making it difficult for me to fully engage with it. I wasn’t quite sure where this book was going, since it got to about the mid-point, and in my mind I was already expecting it to end.
I found it difficult to identify with one of the main characters, Bill. I was driven wild by his stupidity, selfishness and innate stubbornness. He could not let go of his personal idea of freedom and ultimately lost, what he later realised, was the best thing he had ever had. I started with the feeling that Bill was going to be able to change, to grow into his position in life and his family responsibilities, but he never quite achieved that.
I liked Janet as a character and enjoyed seeing how she dealt with the problems that she faced. It was also interesting to see how different generations viewed the same, perceived, moral issues. There was a degree of hypocrisy and double standards in how they viewed things that they had done when young, when faced with their children doing it, which was interesting to see.
I enjoyed the ending. It was good to see how Janet rebuilt her life and had that second chance at happiness
All in all I experienced mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed that Janet and Bill both got what, in my opinion, they deserved, but I felt that the book was too long for what it achieved.
This review is based on a digital review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher Open Road Media as part of the Retro Reads program.