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The Shortest Way Home: 06/12/20

The Shortest Way Home

The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker is set in Sonoma county over a tumultuous summer after Hannah is abandoned by her almost fiancé Ethan. Things had started to go south at a wine tasting in a small family run winery with a long history.

Hannah has been offered a high paying job in New York and an apartment in Manhattan. But after this disastrous trip at the end of grad school, she realizes she can't commit her life to Ethan. She wants to try something new.

And then there's the winery. Hannah can't get it out of her mind. With nothing else to lose, she goes back and ends up inventing a new job for herself.

The remainder of the book is Hannah's time at the winery and how it gives her a chance to grow at a person. As she works there she learns of a family in crisis, grieving for over a dead child, a husband and wife no longer close, an a family business barely staying afloat. Hannah though does know marketing and sales and is able to revitalize the winery.

The problem, though, is that Hannah's story is told in a bland voice. She's taking her life on a complete tangent but the adventure or the terror — the high tension emotions aren't rendered on the page.

Hannah's summer adventure also happens to fit on the road narrative spectrum. Left by herself and feeling vulnerable, she is a marginalized traveler (66). Her destination is a rural part of Sonoma (33). Anyone who travels the North Bay knows the roads are all blue highways (33). All together Hannah's story is one of marginalized traveler going to rural Sonoma along the blue highway (663333).

Three stars

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