My Rating: 4/5
Author: Cynthia Freeman
Title: Come Pour the Wine: A Novel
Nineteen-year-old Janet Stevens leaves Wichita, Kansas, for New York—and a glamorous career as a model. Manhattan in the 1950s is a heady place for a sheltered Midwesterner. A new friend helps her discover her forefathers’ faith, but from the moment she sees Bill McNeil at a party, Janet senses she’s found her future. When they marry, she believes she’s finally gotten what she always wanted—not fame or fortune, but the love that will fulfill and sustain her as nothing else ever could.
From the passionate throes of youth to the stings and shocks of middle age, Come Pour the Wine draws a brilliant portrait of a marriage and a family in search of its roots, written with Cynthia Freeman’s trademark insight and compassion.
Come Pour the Wine is a romance novel that follows Janet through her new life in New York and how she finds love. The story is told in third in person through a few characters, but mainly Janet. When the story begins (in the 1950s), Janet is a young girl who leaves her family in Kansas to pursue a modeling career in New York. With a rough start, Janet soon finds some friends and connections to home. Not long after, she meets Bill through a mutual friend, and falls head over heels in love. However, love is not an easy road for Janet and Bill. The book spans about 20 years of Janet’s life in New York.
This story was not one that I’d normally pick up. [I usually like romance novels that have something else going on besides normal life events – if that makes sense.] The era 1950s-1970s was fairly new for me, although I read stories set in that time period. I never read a book with subtle Jewish connections to it. [On a side note: I have seen the TV show The Nanny, and it was neat to see how to spell some of those Jewish sayings. Obviously, I’m not Jewish!] The writing read smoothly—although I didn’t care for the jumps in character perspectives without warning. It would make me pause a moment while reading to put myself in the other character’s mind. I don’t mind having different views, but I would have been easier if there were distinct breaks to separate them.
Despite the jumps, the different perspectives helped the reader to understand what the other characters were thinking – adding more depth to the story. I never really saw what Janet saw in Bill. But, perhaps that was just me. Kit was an interesting character and one of my favorites. I thought she brought a little oomph to the story. The plot itself tied in themes about family/marriage, Jewish and religious connections, finding oneself, and love. It told a story about the normal challenges couple might face. The book was a fairly quick read and overall I liked it.