“The Truth is in The Wine” by Curtis Bunn: Over the course of your lifetime, you've shared a lot with Mom.
You've shared advice, ice cream, rides, and arguments, to name a few; furniture, recipes, clothes and jewelry. She's been teacher, cheerleader and disciplinarian, lending her morals and hopes to you through the years.
Yep, you've shared a lot with Mom – but not quite everything. And as you'll see in the new novel, “The Truth is in The Wine” by Curtis Bunn, Mom keeps a few secrets from you, too.
Ginger Wall was devastated.
Her husband, Paul, had told her that he wanted a divorce, and though Ginger knew they'd had problems, his words were not what she expected. With her soul in pain, she threw herself into caring for their 18-year-old adopted daughter, Helena.
But Paul Wall didn't really want a divorce. He wasn't sure why he'd said those words to Ginger – he still loved his wife passionately, and he hadn't meant them. Now there was another complication to this mess: Paul won the lottery.
Eight million dollars; four, after taxes.
His best friend urged Paul to split the money and proceed with the divorce, but Paul didn't want to. He was a wine-lover, a collector of fine vintages, and it was true that he could savor a good many wines with half the winnings. He just didn't want to do it without Ginger.
He also didn't want her to stay married because of money, so he devised a plan. Recently laid-off, Paul told Ginger that he needed a vacation from the stress, and invited her on a Napa Valley trip. They also invited their mothers: hers, recently widowed; his, recently divorced; both needing a change of pace.
Napa was where Paul would spill his eight-million-dollar secret – but his surprise was not the only bombshell carried to California.
Months before, Ginger did something that seemed right at the time but could potentially change everything in their marriage. Her mother, Madeline, was hiding a hush-hush that she wasn't ready to reveal.
Brenda, Paul's mother, was harboring a fact that she knew would turn her son's world upside-down.
And it was only a matter of time before secrets would be uncorked …
There's a lot to like about “The Truth is in The Wine.”
First, there are the characters. Author Curtis Bunn makes them likable in way that allows us to hate them for what they're doing to one another. You'll alternately want to throttle them, then comfort them.
Secondly, Bunn weaves a story that twists over here, drops off over there, and explodes in another spot. That keeps readers guessing, wondering how everything's going to turn out because we really don't know. It's easy to envision both a good ending and a bad one. I won't tell you which you'll get.
This is a great weekend-vacation kind of read and yes, it's something you can enjoy with a glass of wine. Be aware, however, that there's some quick erotica in this book, so be careful with “The Truth is in the Wine” before you share it with Mom.
Terri Schlichenmeyer has been a professional book reviewer for more than a decade. She lives in Wisconsin.