"Larry McMurtry has Texas, Garrison Keillor has Minnesota and Louise Erdrich has the Northern Plains. With this novel . . . Timothy Egan stakes his claim as the voice of the Pacific Northwest. . . . A hugely impressive first novel. “ The Baltimore Sun
“An action-packed, finely detailed portrait of the land and people of the Pacific Northwest.” San Francisco Chronicle
"A good read, showcasing Mr. Egan's lived-in sense of place as well as his knowledge of wine culture."The New York Times
"A page-turner that manages to avoid the trite and instead embrace truthful contemporary issues. . . . Well-crafted."Rocky Mountain News
"The Winemaker's Daughter is an allegory of sorts, an extended conceit in which the figures and events stand for something larger than themselves. Like his prior nonfiction work, it's incisive, exacting, and sharply written; it also benefits from his acerbic sensibility, which lends it a satiric wit. Bravo to Tim Egan!" David Guterson
"Moving. . . . Peppered with wonderful descriptions . . . knockout local color . . . [and] a portrait of Seattle that tempts you to buy a plane ticket to see the place for yourself." The New York Times Book Review
"The contours of the land seem to shape Egan’s characters . . . giving them unusual depth and binding them inextricably to one another. . . . The Winemaker’s Daughter may be Egan’s first novel, but it is obviously the work of an old hand." The Columbus Dispatch
"An affecting work." The Dallas Morning News
"Egan knows the Pacific Northwest well and writes about it lovingly. . . . With a reporter's eye for detail, Egan deftly delineates some hot-button issues of the late 1990s (redevelopment; the dot-com frenzy and inevitable bust; Indian casinos)." Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Boils over with serious issues about winemaking in the West. . . . Oenophiles will revel in the wine-geeky details." The Oregonian
"An involving, complex, puzzling novel that is mystery and romance, literature and entertainment. . . . Egan cuts to the core and takes us on a journey rather unlike any other." Statesman Journal (Salem, OR)
What makes the novel worth reading are its nonfiction qualities. Among these are a portrait of Seattle that tempts you to buy a plane ticket to see the place for yourself and a discussion of what has happened to the Columbia River Basin since the building of the Grand Coulee Dam -- a discussion that suggests the dream Woody Guthrie promoted when he sang ''Roll On, Columbia'' never came true.
David Willis McCullough
Scattered, clumsy and overearnest, this debut novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Egan tells the story of Brunella Cartolano, an architect who strives to save the family vineyards in the arid wine country east of Washington's Cascade Mountains. On a visit home, Brunella finds her widowed father aging quickly and a water crisis underway; after four years of drought, tempers are frayed in the region. A fire breaks out nearby, and Brunella's younger brother, Niccolo, a firejumper on his summer break from college, is sent to fight it, along with Teddy Flax, a neighbor with a romantic interest in Brunella. Something goes wrong, and Niccolo is killed; Teddy is terribly disfigured. Brunella is enmeshed in the investigation of the tragedy and works with Leon Treadtoofar, the Nez Perce Forest Service man trying to find out who was at fault for the mishap. Meanwhile, Brunella is caught up in a feud over stolen water, finds herself battling the Seattle company she is working for and tries to prevent the sale of the family farm by her unscrupulous older brother, Robert. Egan shakily juggles his convoluted and competing plot lines, skipping erratically from scene to scene. When he slows down, some evocative moments emerge, among them the smoke-jumping episodes and Brunella's dramatic meeting in a church with Teddy. But Egan never manages to make the crusading, Italian-spouting Brunella engaging, and awkward dialogue, unconvincing relationships and forced symbolism further hamstring the novel. Egan's nonfiction journey through the American West, Lasso the Wind (1998), was widely praised; with this foray into fiction, he loses his way. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In a tale about a vineyard set in the Cascade Mountain basin east of Seattle, Eagan is able to tell of clashing cultures (farmers vs. Native Americans, new residents vs. old timers); the tragedies brought on by a four-year drought, fire and greed; and the story of a family. The Cartolano clan, currently headed by Angelo, has been making wine for centuries. Now the crop is threatened by drought and by feuding among the children. When one son is killed in a fire-fighting accident, the cultures come into direct conflict. Brunella Cartolano is the modern daughter who is involved at different levels in all the conflicts. This novel is primarily her story as she tries to find her own place, geographically, as a woman, and in her family. The author shows great understanding of all the forces at play. Only his love scenes, told from a woman's point of view, seem a little off and the loose ends are tied up very quickly at the end. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Random House, Vintage, 305p., Ages 15 to adult.
If this novel were a wine, it could be described as rich, with complex flavors and a satisfying finish. Egan, a reporter for the New York Times, has created a feisty heroine in Brunella Cartolano. Her father, Angelo, emigrated from Italy as a young man to eastern Washington State and established a premier niche winery. A community activist in Seattle, Brunella visits Angelo after a three-year absence, only to find the winery and the entire region endangered by a serious drought and local growers and native tribes embroiled in a water-rights battle. Brunella's brother, Niccolo, leads a team of smoke jumpers, and when he and most of his crew are killed fighting a forest fire, the victims' families blame the tragedy on his incompetence. They turn their anger on Angelo and threaten to run him out of the region. In an attempt to clear Niccolo's name, Brunella uncovers a scheme to drain the local aquifer. Egan's description of the smoke jumpers' losing battle is unforgettable, but he is also a master at capturing the ambiance of a region, be it rainy Seattle or northern Italy, where Brunella retreats when all seems lost. Don't cellar this book: buy and savor now.-Reba Leiding, James Madison Univ. Libs., Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Debut novel by New York Times Pulitzer-winning correspondent Egan (Lasso the Wind, 1998, etc.) about a young woman's quest to uncover the cause of her brother's death. When young Angelo Cartolano moved to the Pacific Northwest just after WWII, he came up with the idea of importing grapes from his native Italy and eventually created the first (and, many believe, the best) winery in Washington State. But after 50 years, Angelo is getting on. His daughter Brunella is an architect in Seattle, currently working as consultant to a developer who wants to reclaim an abandoned fishing village on the Puget Sound; his son Niccolo is a smokejumper in the Forest Service. An extended drought has led to a series of disastrous firestorms in the region, and Niccolo is killed fighting one of them. Angelo and Brunella are both devastated, but their shock turns to horror when they learn that the Forest Service has begun an investigation into claims that Niccolo's own incompetence led to his death and those of the men under his command. Brunella, meanwhile, finds herself at the center of a controversy when she testifies at the last minute against the development she had been hired to vet. She also learns that a nearby Indian tribe is trying to siphon off water supplies in order to construct a casino on its reservation, and she begins to suspect that this may have had something to do with the failure of the fire pumps that led to her brother's death and vilification. Overwhelmed by such revelations, Brunella flees to Italy and tries to begin a new life. But family ghosts are not so easily stilled. A rollicking soap opera with as many twists as a corkscrew, written with an investigative reporter's eye fordetail and nose for coincidence-even though, like a good Barolo, it's a bit too strong to swallow in one gulp.