The California Wife

The California Wife

by Kristen Harnisch


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Kristen Harnisch’s debut historical fiction novel, The California Wife, is the second in a series about the changing world of vineyard life at the turn of the twentieth century and a spirited heroine’s fight to determine her destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631520877
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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The California Wife 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series and second book. But, does it really need 7 pages of recommendations? I say not......
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite The California Wife by Kristen Harnisch is the sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter by the same author. Sara Lemieux is recovering from all the tragedies that have befallen her and reveling in her new marriage to Philippe. Their vineyard at Eagle’s Run shows great promise for the harvest ahead, and Sara has many visions of happy family experiences while raising her nephew, Luc. However, secrets from both their pasts will come back to put a damper on the marriage, as well as unexpected obstacles to their success as vintners. Will the Lemieux family manage to overcome the seemingly impossible and find joy and balance in their hectic lives? The California Wife by Kristen Harnisch takes the reader on a wonderful journey across the globe. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Napa Valley, as well as France, and even San Francisco. Having grown up in California, it was brilliant to see a historical fiction novel set in places I know well. Sara’s struggles as a woman on the cusp of the 20th century gave an insight to the troubles women were facing at the time, striving to obtain equal rights, including the vote. Miss Harnisch has done excellent research, something I truly appreciate in a historical novel. Although this title is marketed as a standalone, I do feel reading the first novel would have provided some much needed background information. However, Miss Harnisch makes a concerted effort to ensure that if you’ve picked up this novel before The Vintner’s Daughter, you are brought up to speed on the events of the past. The California Wife kept my interest from beginning to end. Now I need to read the first novel to learn more about Sara and her journey before marrying Philippe!
Mirella More than 1 year ago
The California Wife is the sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter leaves off. You can read the review here. With Sara's estate and vineyards in France destroyed, she and , yaraavineyardsh - . With Sara's vineyardsh with Sara and Philippe journey to California in an attempt to build up his Napa Valley vineyards and make enough profit to rebuild their vineyards in France. Several conflicts arise in the form of Prohibition and Philippe's dastardly brother. Just as the first book, this second one continues the family saga. The main characters continue to intrigue as they face a whole new slew of challenges. I found the settings beautiful and dreamy and the author's knowledge of the wine making industry confident. I loved both these books and eagerly look forward to reading more from this author. Highly recommended! Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog,, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vouvray France - 1897 Sara Thibault has just agreed to marry Philippe Lemieux, the owner and respected vigneron of Eagle’s Run, a very large vineyard in Napa California. Sara grew up in Vouvray France on a vineyard in Saint Martin. Although rather small, it produced lovely chenin blanc grapes. But, two years ago, the vines were destroyed by the phylloxera louse and her family is anxious to replant the vineyard with American rootstock. She and her family don’t want to waste more time before replanting because they know it will take 3-5 years before the vines produce good grapes. Sara had left Napa some weeks before where she had lived and worked with Philippe. It appears that her sister, Lydia, passed away after giving birth to Luc. His father, Bastian, Philippe’s brother, erupted into a night of violence attempting to attack her. Sara accidentally killed him to save herself. Bastian also burned down her family’s home. A note here: “The California Wife" is a sequel to “The Vintner’s Daughter” and evidently takes up where it leaves off. Since I did not read “The Vintner’s Daughter,” I had a difficult time trying to piece together the first part of this book. So, my first paragraph is what I gleaned happened in the first book. Philippe’s father was an abusive man who used to beat he and Bastian. He is still alive but is an angry, hateful man and Philippe avoids him. Napa California After Sara and Philippe marry, they settle at Eagle’s Run in Napa. They are faced with how all of the wineries are seeing price cuts making it very difficult to make a profit. When word comes of the upcoming World’s Fair in Paris, they decide to enter their California wines against the French wines. Linnette Cross is a harlot working at a Napa brothel. Philippe had taken her on as his mistress when he was single. When he fell in love with Sara, he ended his relationship with Linnette. Soon after, she discovered she was pregnant with his child. Recently she has given birth to their daughter, Phillippa Mary, Pippa for short. Sadly, Pippa was born with a cleft lip. Now, Linnette wonders if she should tell Philippe about their daughter. When Linnette becomes ill and dies, Philippe learns about Pippa and adopts her. Vintner jealousy has reared its ugly head and a devastating fire breaks out at Eagle’s Run which nearly destroys everything. But they persevere. The story continues with different family members who join them and all of the difficulties that they face with the winery and in their own personal lives. The book is chock full of actual historical events of that time period woven into the book which makes it even more interesting. I know that readers will enjoy following this hard-working family. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley