The California Wife


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 0.9 X 8.9 inches | 1.2 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Kristen Harnisch drew upon her extensive research and experiences living in the San Francisco Bay area and visiting the Loire Valley to create the story for The Vintner's Daughter, her debut novel. She has a degree in economics from Villanova University, and currently resides in Connecticut.


"Harnisch's lyrical descriptions underscore the beauty of winemaking, political activism, and even surgery. Combined with her first novel, The California Wife feels like the second season of a period miniseries, best enjoyed with a glass of zinfandel."

"Fans of historical fiction, heart-pounding romance, and remarkable women look no further. Kristen Harnisch does more than craft a rollicking good tale in intriguing locales; she transports you back in time through engaging dialogue, complex characters, and vivid description. Sara is no shrinking violet, and as she travels from France to the Napa Valley she learns how to channel her passions to build the life she's always dreamed of. An exquisite read from start to finish."
--Alexandria Brown, Napa County Historical Society Research Librarian

"A passionate novel set in the beautiful Napa Valley in the early 1900s. You'll cheer for Sarah Lemieux as she tries to balance, love, family, and independence in a time when women were expected to obey. Rich in history, passion, and community, The California Wife is a novel that continues to surprise until the very end."
--Marci Nault, author of The Lake House

"The California Wife is a vivid, fine-tuned novel about two fiercely ambitious and determined people who face obstacles that would bring most of us to our knees. Harnisch's skillful blend of 19th-century societal norms and details about wine-making practices never overwhelm the characters but enrich them, captivating the heart. You'll long remember this beautiful story about redemption, forgiveness, love, and family bonds."
--Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

As seasoned wine country travelers, we see the present-day struggles of small, family-owned wineries and know how difficult it is to become successful. Winemakers are constantly at the mercy of unpredictable weather and must work long hours to ensure a good product and profitable wine sales. Kristen Harnisch does a remarkable job of transporting us back 100 years and gives us an authentic feel for what it was like to make wine at that time without the benefit of enology and viticulture programs or the advances of modern-day science. Sara and Philippe's love for each other helps them face hidden family secrets, threats from a rival winemaker and a tragedy that could destroy everything they have."
--Joe and Janella Becerra,

"The California Wife is not only an accurate and nostalgic account of the early history of our wine industry in California, it's a lovely novel with characters you want join in a harvest, a meal, and a glass of wine. I recommend this book to wine lovers and historical fiction fans alike!"
--Tina Vierra, Associate Publisher, Wines & Vines

"It was easy to get lost in the pages of The California Wife, Harnisch's compelling new novel. Harnisch is adept at creating determined, complex characters, whose combination of strength and vulnerability make them irresistible. Her admirable ability to bring forth a strong sense of place made every glorious detail of the Napa Valley sparkle: I wanted to reach for a glass of wine as I read. This sweeping tale is a true delight!"
--Linda Holeman, International Bestselling author of The Linnet Bird and The Lost Souls of Angelkov

"Rich with setting and story, Kristen Harnisch pulled me deep into the Napa Valley vineyards and through the streets of San Francisco in her lovely turn-of-the-twentieth century story, The California Wife. Harnisch weaves history and family passion together so seamlessly that I had to remind myself I was reading fiction. This is a simply stunning follow-up to The Vintner's Daughter. Both enlightening and delightful. Bravo!"
--Carla Stewart, Award-winning author of Stardust and A Flying Affair

"This vital, sweeping story is delivered in Harnisch's silky, upscale prose. Much like a fine glass of wine, The California Wife is a highbrow indulgence that is tasteful, captivating, and heady."
--The Globe and Mail