Monday, March 16, 2015

"deepest roots of the heart" by chautona havig

A young man encounters more than he expected when he returns home following World War II to reclaim his home.

During WWII, Avelino Carrillo spent four harrowing years in the South Pacific with one thought driving his survival: to return to his beloved home in Napa Valley.

The Carrillos have a history in the valley that stretches deep, like grapevine roots in the soil. For a century, they worked the vineyard at their family home, la Casa de los Sue├▒os, until they lost the property to a wealthy land baron. Now, Avelino is determined to reclaim the land and home he loves so much. When he meets Amelia, a young woman who lives at the vineyard with her grandfather, he finds that regaining his birthright isn’t his only struggle—he battles the longing of his heart as well.

Can Avelino overcome the local bigotry and personal demons that face him to create the life he desires?

Deepest Roots of the Heart intertwines two stories: one involving a WWII veteran in 1945 and one beginning in 1836 at the Battle of San Jacinto involving his namesake. Avelino Carrillo's story is intriguing: he returns home from war to discover a beautiful young woman and her grandfather living in the house he grew up in. As he works to regain ownership of his family's land and vineyard, he finds himself falling for Amelia, that young woman. But many things stand in the way of their happiness—poverty, prejudice, and Avelino's own stubborn pride.

As Avelino gets to know Amelia, he tells her the story of the first Avelino, Avelino Aguilar. Honestly, that story didn't intrigue me nearly as much as Avelino and Amelia's story did, and I found myself skimming the pages. Also, while the first Avelino's story wrapped up, the story of how the second Avelino's family came to be in possession of the vineyard didn't, and I thought that was the point of Avelino's story.

Deepest Roots of the Heart is well researched and written, but I felt like the story could have been told in about 100 fewer pages; it just seemed like the story dragged on a bit. It's not a bad novel, but it's also not as engaging as I would have liked. 3 stars.

Buy the book.

Chautona Havig is a prolific writer of fiction, including the popular Past Forward series and Ready or Not, among many other novels. When not writing, she enjoys paper crafting, sewing, and, of course, reading. She lives in a small, remote town in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and seven of her nine children.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free for review from Amazon.com through its Vine reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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