Navigating Life’s Vineyards

4.25 out of 5 stars

[Please note that the following review contains slight spoilers – even though I try not to spoil things, this one is going to be difficult (and it’s mentioned a bit in the book description). There’s also a trigger warning for discussions of death and loss.]

In Eliza Lentzski’s Sour Grapes, June St. Clare embarks on a journey to rebuild her life in the unlikeliest of places—a Napa Valley winery she didn’t choose for herself, her partner picked it for them and June is “forced” to continue their dream alone.

Right away June’s path intersects with Lucia, the winery’s assistant winemaker (and daughter of the head winemaker). Their first meeting sets the stage for their rocky relationship and gradually evolves into something more profound as more things come to light on both sides. Lentzski skillfully crafts their dynamic, taking time to let their connection develop, while still offering surprises that defy predictable arcs.

What’s particularly engaging is Lentzski’s portrayal of winemaking. Even for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of the craft, the author’s detailed yet accessible descriptions enhance the story’s backdrop without alienating readers. This thoughtful approach underscores the broader appeal of the narrative.

At the core of Sour Grapes lies June’s struggle to come to terms with profound loss—a challenge that resonates deeply. Some reviews have questioned the portrayal of her emotional journey, suggesting a lack of remorse or missing the point entirely. The reality is, grief is a complex journey, and Lentzski deftly captures the unexpected ways it can intersect with new beginnings. Just as life often presents unexpected twists, so too does this story.

Overall, Sour Grapes is an enriching experience despite its challenging themes, including the exploration of the harsh treatment of winery employees. Lentzski delicately navigates this emotional terrain, offering readers an enjoyable read that showcases the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Throw in the excellent performance by Lindsey Dorcus and you’ve got a winner in my eyes.

Book Description:

From bestselling sapphic romance author, Eliza Lentzski, a story about taking chances and love after loss.

At this stage in her life, June St. Clare never imagined she’d be starting all over again-a new job, a new city, a new love? Looking for a fresh start after tragedy, June finds herself the unexpected owner of Lark Estates-a micro winery in the heart of Napa Valley. There, June is determined to learn the business and do her best, even if she’s convinced that her assistant winemaker, the beautiful but elusive Lucia Santiago, wants to see her fail.

Lucia Santiago grew up on vineyards, almost like a grapevine herself, working her way up from cellar rat to assistant winemaker. When the property where she works is suddenly sold to a woman with no prior experience, she can’t help but feel resentful of the winery’s lovely but inexperienced new owner. It’s too bad June’s helplessness is almost endearing, stirring up emotions Lucia didn’t quite expect.

Don’t miss Sour Grapes—a slow-burn sapphic romance from Eliza Lentzski.

Sour Grapes by Eliza Lentzski
Narrator: Lindsey Dorcus
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
Published by Tantor Audio on February 7th 2023
Genres: LesFic/Sapphic Fiction, Workplace / Office Romance
Format: Audiobook
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Also by this author: The Woman In 3B

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