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The Shortest Way Home

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In her debut novel crackling with humor, heart, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Miriam Parker follows one woman's journey from Iowa to New York City to California wine country, to figure out what being true to oneself really means. After years of dreaming of and working toward a life more stable than the one she grew up in, Hannah is finally about to have everythin In her debut novel crackling with humor, heart, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Miriam Parker follows one woman's journey from Iowa to New York City to California wine country, to figure out what being true to oneself really means. After years of dreaming of and working toward a life more stable than the one she grew up in, Hannah is finally about to have everything she ever wanted. With a high-paying job, an apartment in Manhattan, and a boyfriend about to propose, all she and Ethan have to do is make it through the last couple of weeks of grad school, and the future they had planned will be theirs to keep. But when they take a romantic weekend trip to Sonoma, and Hannah is spontaneously offered a marketing job at the first (and seemingly financially unstable) winery they visit and doesn't immediately refuse, their meticulously planned forever comes crashing down around them. And then Hannah impulsively does the unthinkable--she turns down her job in New York and decides to stay in California. Abandoning your dream job and life shouldn't feel this good. But for Hannah, it is an eye-opening experience; and she realizes that maybe, after all her dream-chasing, she hasn't actually been caring for herself. And this new life certainly seems like a dream come true--living in a picturesque cottage overlooking a vineyard in lush Sonoma; new friends with pasts and hopes the likes of which she's never encountered before; and William, the handsome son of the winery owners and an aspiring film director who captures Hannah's heart only to leave the very city she let go. The mission to rescue the failing winery becomes a mission to rescue Hannah from the image of herself she thought she wanted. The young girl who ached to escape Iowa and leave her past behind for a glamorous life is now given the chance to come to terms with the upbringing that made her who she is. The Shortest Way Home is a heartwarming story of one woman who sheds expectations in order to claim her own happy ending.


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In her debut novel crackling with humor, heart, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Miriam Parker follows one woman's journey from Iowa to New York City to California wine country, to figure out what being true to oneself really means. After years of dreaming of and working toward a life more stable than the one she grew up in, Hannah is finally about to have everythin In her debut novel crackling with humor, heart, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Miriam Parker follows one woman's journey from Iowa to New York City to California wine country, to figure out what being true to oneself really means. After years of dreaming of and working toward a life more stable than the one she grew up in, Hannah is finally about to have everything she ever wanted. With a high-paying job, an apartment in Manhattan, and a boyfriend about to propose, all she and Ethan have to do is make it through the last couple of weeks of grad school, and the future they had planned will be theirs to keep. But when they take a romantic weekend trip to Sonoma, and Hannah is spontaneously offered a marketing job at the first (and seemingly financially unstable) winery they visit and doesn't immediately refuse, their meticulously planned forever comes crashing down around them. And then Hannah impulsively does the unthinkable--she turns down her job in New York and decides to stay in California. Abandoning your dream job and life shouldn't feel this good. But for Hannah, it is an eye-opening experience; and she realizes that maybe, after all her dream-chasing, she hasn't actually been caring for herself. And this new life certainly seems like a dream come true--living in a picturesque cottage overlooking a vineyard in lush Sonoma; new friends with pasts and hopes the likes of which she's never encountered before; and William, the handsome son of the winery owners and an aspiring film director who captures Hannah's heart only to leave the very city she let go. The mission to rescue the failing winery becomes a mission to rescue Hannah from the image of herself she thought she wanted. The young girl who ached to escape Iowa and leave her past behind for a glamorous life is now given the chance to come to terms with the upbringing that made her who she is. The Shortest Way Home is a heartwarming story of one woman who sheds expectations in order to claim her own happy ending.

30 review for The Shortest Way Home

  1. 3 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!! this isn’t ordinarily the kind of book i would pick up, since i am typically a reader of all things gritty and sinister, but miriam parker is both a dynamo and a kind-hearted lady, even though she refuses to take seriously my begging to become her assistant, so i decided to give it a whirl. and, no - it’s not a novel that is within my personal reading preferences, but it is one that will delight a large number of readers who aren’t me, and it’s a perfect book to be released durin NOW AVAILABLE!!! this isn’t ordinarily the kind of book i would pick up, since i am typically a reader of all things gritty and sinister, but miriam parker is both a dynamo and a kind-hearted lady, even though she refuses to take seriously my begging to become her assistant, so i decided to give it a whirl. and, no - it’s not a novel that is within my personal reading preferences, but it is one that will delight a large number of readers who aren’t me, and it’s a perfect book to be released during the horrible heatwave summer of this horrible traumatic year - it’s a bright, hopeful summery lemondrop of a book, which is the perfect way to escape the myriad troubles of the world. two different people asked me about this book while i was reading it, and when i described it, they both said “oh, it’s Sideways for girls.” which isn’t a terrible touchpoint, but from my memory of having seen the movie once a long time ago, this book isn’t as much of a bummer as most of Sideways, and the characters aren’t as douchey. but it does cover the wine and love and new beginnings and self-discovery bits, so if that's a description that helps you weigh your desire for this book, weigh away. it’s about burning bridges, deviating from the plan and creating a path to a new future; the risk of leaving behind the comfortable and familiar, tossing aside all the things that have been sacrificed for and achieved to seek out new impulses, dreams, and hopefully, happiness. it’s a lighthearted and optimistic read, and if you need to feel cheered up for a few hours or would love some encouragement on your own risk-and-reward journey, this debut novel is a good place to start. it pairs well with any wine at all. or lemonade. and if anyone would like to give me the opportunity for my own personal reinvention narrative, let me know. i work hard and i play nice and i have more than a few skills. come to my blog!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    4 Stars and a Glass of Wine🍷 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is a book all about finding the right path in life for you.... and what happens when you figure out your “dreams“ aren’t really your own? Would you be brave enough to veer off the path that everyone expects from you? And would you be able to sacrifice financial security for personal fulfillment? What really makes a person happy... money? Love? A feeling of purpose? This really was a book that made you think and made you want to visit Sonoma and have a glass 4 Stars and a Glass of Wine🍷 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is a book all about finding the right path in life for you.... and what happens when you figure out your “dreams“ aren’t really your own? Would you be brave enough to veer off the path that everyone expects from you? And would you be able to sacrifice financial security for personal fulfillment? What really makes a person happy... money? Love? A feeling of purpose? This really was a book that made you think and made you want to visit Sonoma and have a glass of wine! Hannah has just graduated from the MBA program at Berkley... she has everything a girl could want... degree from an elite school✔️ prestigious new job✔️ apartment in Manhattan✔️ equally successful and wealthy boyfriend✔️ so why is Hana so tempted to take this temporary low-paying job at a struggling winery? So is saying goodbye to her “dream life“ and saying hello to Sonoma the right thing to do for Hannah? Hannah was a likable character and you really respected her for taking the harder path.... you will also love her character because she is a book lover and even better not a pretentious book lover! The setting at this winery in Northern California was absolutely stunning! I loved all the little tidbits we learned in this Book about wine making and marketing... I also really liked all the secondary characters and the sense of community in this book... there is a little romance in the book, but for me it really took a backseat to Hannas self discovery story... I am a huge fan of character development throughout a story and this book was all about Hannah‘s growth, and I loved it for that! Such a delightful story filled with love, family, friendship, new beginnings, self discovery, and of course wine! Absolutely recommend! *** many thanks to Dutton for my copy of this book ***

  3. 3 out of 5

    Jenny

    Thirty year old Hannah Greene heads to Sonoma California for a weekend wine trip with her fellow graduate student boyfriend, Ethan. Both are finishing up their last term at the Berkeley Haas School and after graduation will be heading to New York. Ethan and Hannah already have jobs waiting for them and their futures planned. Hannah landed the job of a lifetime at Goldman Sachs. A seemingly perfect life awaits Hannah and Ethan, who will joining two friends in software app development. While they wai Thirty year old Hannah Greene heads to Sonoma California for a weekend wine trip with her fellow graduate student boyfriend, Ethan. Both are finishing up their last term at the Berkeley Haas School and after graduation will be heading to New York. Ethan and Hannah already have jobs waiting for them and their futures planned. Hannah landed the job of a lifetime at Goldman Sachs. A seemingly perfect life awaits Hannah and Ethan, who will joining two friends in software app development. While they wait for their room to be ready, the couple stop at the Bellosguardo Winery and suddenly Hannah’s future as well as Ethan’s takes a sharp detour. Throwing caution to the wind, Hannah abandones her planned “perfect” life in New York for a less secure marketing job at the small family run Bellosguardo Winery. The struggling Winery is in need of help and Winery owner, Linda, offers Hannah a low paying job with room and board at the Winery. Hannah accepts the offer and leaves a stunned Ethan at the airport as he goes to New York alone but hoping that she will realize her “mistake” and come to her senses. Author Miriam Parker writes a beautiful book that is simple yet detailed as we watch Hannah discover herself along with her strength as she uses her skills to save the Winery. She finds her true self and falls in love but not the obvious one, the love of people from her past as well as people that will be part of her future and beautiful Sonoma, California. You will find yourself wishing that you could read this book at a Winery outside on a beautiful sunny day with a glass of your favorite wine reading this book. The Shortest Way Home was a book that reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, where Frost says “two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Some might say that poem represents a regret but not in Hannah’s life as she takes the path less traveled but will find that this is her “perfect” path to Home. The Shortest Way Home is a wonderful read and makes a great discussion book for book clubs. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. My reviews are unbiased and my own. #netgalley #ShortestWayHome

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alafair Burke

    THE SHORTEST WAY HOME hit a sweet spot for me, a source of brightness in dark times. Imagine Gilmore Girls set on a winery in Sonoma, except Lorelai is a woman named Hannah who just gave up her high-brow New York City job, and Rory is a spaniel named Tannin. I found myself looking forward to sneaking in a few more pages with Hannah and the rich cast of memorable characters she befriends at the winery. A really delightful read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    4.5/5 stars! I absolutely love books where the female character is starting over in a new location. This lovely gem of a book is about Hannah, who decides to stay in Sonoma after visiting while on vacation. She has graduated college and is a bit lost, as most college graduates are. Hannah’s quest to find herself, and what is important to her, is an eyeopening journey. Miriam Parker has such a beautiful way of writing. On every single page, I felt like I was right there with them holding a glass 4.5/5 stars! I absolutely love books where the female character is starting over in a new location. This lovely gem of a book is about Hannah, who decides to stay in Sonoma after visiting while on vacation. She has graduated college and is a bit lost, as most college graduates are. Hannah’s quest to find herself, and what is important to her, is an eyeopening journey. Miriam Parker has such a beautiful way of writing. On every single page, I felt like I was right there with them holding a glass of wine. As a matter of fact, I was holding a glass of wine as I was reading this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    The Shortest Way Home was just the light, refreshing read I needed after a string of heavier books. Hannah Greene arrives in wine country for a get-away with her boyfriend before moving to New York and entering the corporate world. She falls in love with Sonoma and suddenly, she sees a new life for herself and decides to chart a different course. I loved the beautiful setting, the characters, and the strong female lead. This was a fun, witty read that left me thirsty for wine and ready for a tri The Shortest Way Home was just the light, refreshing read I needed after a string of heavier books. Hannah Greene arrives in wine country for a get-away with her boyfriend before moving to New York and entering the corporate world. She falls in love with Sonoma and suddenly, she sees a new life for herself and decides to chart a different course. I loved the beautiful setting, the characters, and the strong female lead. This was a fun, witty read that left me thirsty for wine and ready for a trip to Sonoma! 🍷 Thank you @duttonbooks for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Stacey A. Prose and Palate

    Absolutely delightful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dan Radovich

    I hope that there is more coming from Miriam Parker, because she certainly proves her mettle as a talented storyteller with this debut. THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is sure to be devoured by book clubs - it is filled with engaging characters, sublime settings, relatable situations. Hannah, the main character, has her life all plotted out with Ethan until a visit to a Sonoma winery sparks a new untapped desire inside of her. Good-bye New York City. Good-bye Ethan. Good-bye old life. Her life direction c I hope that there is more coming from Miriam Parker, because she certainly proves her mettle as a talented storyteller with this debut. THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is sure to be devoured by book clubs - it is filled with engaging characters, sublime settings, relatable situations. Hannah, the main character, has her life all plotted out with Ethan until a visit to a Sonoma winery sparks a new untapped desire inside of her. Good-bye New York City. Good-bye Ethan. Good-bye old life. Her life direction completely turned around, Hannah now faces a new beginning. This is a book you can read in one sitting (you want to know how Hannah will end up) or you can 'sip' chapters slowly to enjoy Parker's writing skills. What you thought would be typical light weight reading is actually an impressive work of character growth and solid storytelling. I know Miriam Parker from the book trade, but I am not the type to hype a book due to acquaintance/friendship. Miriam Parker has truly written a wonderful novel and deserves the praise. You will be impressed.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Sandra

    It's on the lower end of 3 for me, unfortunately. It just felt too shallow, lacking real emotion throughout. I felt the main character was quite immature, which grated on my nerves, and none of them seemed very deep. It didn't feel like there was any real sacrifice or struggle to make me care about this girl and her choices. However, it was a fairly nice story in a wonderful setting, which I enjoyed. Maybe I just needed more wine to drink while reading.

  10. 4 out of 5

    The Book Girl (Andrea)

    For a book marked as a romance between Hannah and William, to me, it felt like that covered a small portion of the book. The main parts were the working at the winery, finding new friends, figuring out herself, and dealing with complicated relationships. I felt as if we learned more about her two bosses and her relationship than William. I just was left wanting more romance. Other characters Linda and Everett were sort of boring characters to me. Everett works behind the scenes in the winery. Gr For a book marked as a romance between Hannah and William, to me, it felt like that covered a small portion of the book. The main parts were the working at the winery, finding new friends, figuring out herself, and dealing with complicated relationships. I felt as if we learned more about her two bosses and her relationship than William. I just was left wanting more romance. Other characters Linda and Everett were sort of boring characters to me. Everett works behind the scenes in the winery. Growing the grapes, tasting them and then processing them into wine. While Linda works in the sales area. They are just another unhappy married couple which I am kind of tired of at this point. Like typical Linda has a past lover she still wants, and Everett is just trying to save his marriage. The twists and turns of their relationship really did not add to the story in anyway. Overall I don't believe this is a well-written story. Some parts were clunky and rushed, while others were slow and mundane. I found the pacing of the story to be really off. I felt parts went by so quickly while others dragged on and on. An example of this is when Hannah was trying to decide to stay in Sonoma for the summer. It just was far too quick of a decision in my opinion. This was just an overall disappointing story cause I had such high hopes for it. I did think the ending was short and sweet enough. I missed the emotion in this book that is typical of a romance novel. I wanted to see them not just read about them. I wanted to fell things when reading and all I felt was boredom. With all that said, I am giving The Shortest Way Home 3 out of 5 stars. Due to some of the good elements, it has and most of the characters were lovely. But it had too many problems to deserve a higher rating. Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Penguin Group/ Dutton in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Alternative title: Under the Sonoman Sun. (On an unrelated side note, I just now realized the Williams Sonoma brand is from Northern California. Never made the connection before. Doh!) Although I know next to nothing about wine I was quickly drawn into this tale of the esteemed beverage, because really, wine is a central character in Miriam Parker's Northern California based novel. On a whim, thirty-year-old Hannah Greene gives up a prestigious job offer from Goldman Sachs, a soon to be fiancé, a Alternative title: Under the Sonoman Sun. (On an unrelated side note, I just now realized the Williams Sonoma brand is from Northern California. Never made the connection before. Doh!) Although I know next to nothing about wine I was quickly drawn into this tale of the esteemed beverage, because really, wine is a central character in Miriam Parker's Northern California based novel. On a whim, thirty-year-old Hannah Greene gives up a prestigious job offer from Goldman Sachs, a soon to be fiancé, an apartment in Manhattan, everything she's spent years of her life working towards, in order to assist at a fledgling family-owned winery for $800 a week. With no actual job description, Hannah uses her business school skills to market the winery to locals and tourists alike in the hopes of saving it from financial ruin. In the process, she becomes stronger, more self-assured, and quite the wine connoisseur herself. Of course, there is the new love interest, a factor that just may have figured into her initial decision to accept the job during her short visit to the winery's tasting room. Though not a novel that bears any surprises, it definitely was satisfying and a read worth savoring. *Added bonus: Hannah is a book lover so there's plenty of name dropping both of novels and authors in this one. I foresee this being a book club pick and an excuse to combine the meeting with plenty of wine!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Overmoyer

    This book, The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker, is going to be a favorite for someone. It is, unfortunately, not a favorite for me. This genre, summery novels of self-discovery and idyllic locations, have always been hit or miss with me. This book is a miss, although it was just interesting enough that I finished it. Set in Sonoma, California wine country, wine is absolutely the point around which all things in the story revolve. It is why Linda and Everett are married, it is the thing they and t This book, The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker, is going to be a favorite for someone. It is, unfortunately, not a favorite for me. This genre, summery novels of self-discovery and idyllic locations, have always been hit or miss with me. This book is a miss, although it was just interesting enough that I finished it. Set in Sonoma, California wine country, wine is absolutely the point around which all things in the story revolve. It is why Linda and Everett are married, it is the thing they and their fathers did with their lives, it is what Hannah likes to drink with every meal, it is… everything. If you like wine, this could be the book for you. Not tying it entirely to wine, of course, the other unifying point around which things seem to revolve is a bit of what could be called Rich People Problems. Hannah, newly graduated from business school at Berkeley and about to take a six-figure salary for a starting job at Goldman Sachs in New York, spends much of the book bemoaning her poor Iowa upbringing while contrasting it to an internship at Tiffany’s in New York all while somehow amassing the ability to give up said job for an $800 a week gig as… helper of sorts at a struggling winery in Sonoma. I mean, it helps that the winery job comes with a cottage to live in (and all the wine she can drink!), but I didn’t find her relatable enough to be likable. It was hard to care if she chose Ethan, the super-rich Park Avenue boy who decides to slum it, as it were, and found a start-up app company because his buddies at Google want new jobs, or William, the son of the winery owners, who she manages to fall head-over-heels in lust/love with after a grand total of maybe three meetings. To Parker’s credit as an author of this sort of book, Hannah chooses neither - and that is why this book got bumped to two stars for me. But Hannah’s unrelatable and kind of a brat, Ethan is mildly abusive to Hannah, Linda and Everett have a twisted, toxic relationship built on a modern day arranged marriage, and… there just wasn’t much here for me. I think maybe I finished the book because it is a very fast read, the downside of that being that all of this, all of these life-changing decisions occur over the course of a summer, but really a couple weeks. Marriages break and are rebuilt, a massive heart attack is fully recovered from, a former farm girl marches in and takes over a century and a half old winery with permission from the supposedly very invested owners, affairs are had, a For Rent sign turns into a successful AirBnB B&B and… it’s just too much. For me. Maybe not for you. Try it if you like this sort of thing. It has it’s good points. (I received a copy of The Shortest Way Home from NetGalley and Dutton in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    The Shortest Way Home By Miriam Parker What it's all about... Hannah and Ethan are on their way to beginning what they both believe will be their life after grad school. Ethan wants his own start up while Hannah has taken a prestigious job in NYC. They are in Wine Country...relaxing before graduation...when Hannah begins to question this established course for her life. Does she want this life as much as Ethan does? Hannah isn’t quite sure and with an extreme leap of faith...Hannah tosses it all asi The Shortest Way Home By Miriam Parker What it's all about... Hannah and Ethan are on their way to beginning what they both believe will be their life after grad school. Ethan wants his own start up while Hannah has taken a prestigious job in NYC. They are in Wine Country...relaxing before graduation...when Hannah begins to question this established course for her life. Does she want this life as much as Ethan does? Hannah isn’t quite sure and with an extreme leap of faith...Hannah tosses it all aside to work at a winery...a winery with tons of issues! Why I wanted to read it... I just simply wanted to read this because I loved the cover and I loved the sound of this book. Even though Hannah and Ethan and William...the son of the vineyard owners and a budding love interest for Hannah...were in their 30’s...none of them seemed to know what they really wanted for their lives. What made me truly enjoy this book... I actually loved that almost everyone in this book was changing, evolving, growing and learning about themselves. The book was filled with interesting characters. This book was filled with beautiful wine country scenes and descriptions. Hannah had a lovely little cottage...vineyards and great food were everywhere and these all made reading this book satisfying and relaxing...pages turned in an easy comfy way! Why you should read it, too... Readers who love a beautifully written story set in a beautiful area will love this book. I did! I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Ellen

    If you dream of restarting, in a beautiful locale, while finding yourself, this is the book for you. Hannah is graduating graduate business school and ready to start her life with Ethan in New York when she visits a small winery in Sonoma County. Everett and Linda are trying to grow their small family winery when Hannah shows up and is an answer to some of their their challenges. Facing personal decisions and finding where one is feeling at home, Hannah is a likable character, as are all of the If you dream of restarting, in a beautiful locale, while finding yourself, this is the book for you. Hannah is graduating graduate business school and ready to start her life with Ethan in New York when she visits a small winery in Sonoma County. Everett and Linda are trying to grow their small family winery when Hannah shows up and is an answer to some of their their challenges. Facing personal decisions and finding where one is feeling at home, Hannah is a likable character, as are all of the secondary characters. I recommend, particularly on that beach or summer vacation!

  15. 3 out of 5

    Kathy (Bermudaonion)

    Oh, how I loved THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker! It’s the story of Hannah, a young woman on the verge of finishing her MBA at Berkeley who, along with her boyfriend Ethan, has her life all planned out. They’ll move to New York, start their careers, and have children that Hannah will quit work to raise. She’s all in until she walks into a winery and realizes that the whole New York thing isn’t really her dream – it’s Ethan’s. She decides to stay at the winery to see if she can figure out w Oh, how I loved THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker! It’s the story of Hannah, a young woman on the verge of finishing her MBA at Berkeley who, along with her boyfriend Ethan, has her life all planned out. They’ll move to New York, start their careers, and have children that Hannah will quit work to raise. She’s all in until she walks into a winery and realizes that the whole New York thing isn’t really her dream – it’s Ethan’s. She decides to stay at the winery to see if she can figure out what her dream is. This book is about relationships – family, friends, and love – as well as finding oneself. It’s infused with wit and humor and lots of tidbits about wine. I’m not a wine drinker but reading about it in THE SHORTEST WAY HOME made me wish I were. This book comes out in July of 2018 and I adored it so much, I’ve already pre-ordered a finished copy. I think it’s perfect for book clubs and I hope I can talk mine into reading it next fall. Miriam Parker is one of the first publishing people I met after starting my blog. She was living in Blacksburg at the time and Vance was a student at Virginia Tech so I would try to squeeze in a few minutes with her whenever we visited Vance. She’s moved since then and Vance has graduated but Miriam and I still exchange the occasional email. I don’t think knowing her influenced my opinion of the book – as a matter of fact, I think I read it more critically, especially at the beginning, because of it. Order a copy of this book or get your library to – you won’t be disappointed!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Miriam Parker is clearly someone who has read a lot of books; it's obvious even if you aren't aware that she works in publishing. There are more than a few literary references and this is as much a love letter to books as it is to wine.  It seems like a lot of characters have their lives completely together and know what they want to do in both the short- and long-term. Initially, this is true for Hannah, too, but it doesn't take long for her to take a leap of faith. And while there are some bump Miriam Parker is clearly someone who has read a lot of books; it's obvious even if you aren't aware that she works in publishing. There are more than a few literary references and this is as much a love letter to books as it is to wine.  It seems like a lot of characters have their lives completely together and know what they want to do in both the short- and long-term. Initially, this is true for Hannah, too, but it doesn't take long for her to take a leap of faith. And while there are some bumps in the road, it's also clear that this is actually the perfect job and life for Hannah.  It's only a slight exaggeration to say that this book makes me want to completely shake up my life and go to wine country. I don't have a taste for wine yet, but this book makes me want to develop one. And it makes me wish that I did like northern California. Either way, this is a fantastic debut and I am already eager for Miriam Parker's next book. Highly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    So much to love about this book! The author deftly tells the tale of a woman trying to find herself, while simultaneously trying to find a home for her heart. What I especially enjoyed that said woman was not necessarily looking for romance with another but legitimately trying to love her life. I enjoyed Miriam Parker’s attention to detail, whether it be the brand lip gloss our main character Hannah wears (Fresh), the dreamy cottage she finds herself living in or the nuanced taste of wine she ha So much to love about this book! The author deftly tells the tale of a woman trying to find herself, while simultaneously trying to find a home for her heart. What I especially enjoyed that said woman was not necessarily looking for romance with another but legitimately trying to love her life. I enjoyed Miriam Parker’s attention to detail, whether it be the brand lip gloss our main character Hannah wears (Fresh), the dreamy cottage she finds herself living in or the nuanced taste of wine she had on a beach picnic...it made me feel at home in her book. I was struck by the love of books sprinkled throughout the story- Hannah is a reader and surrounds herself with books at all times. I’m often frustrated when a main character is described as being a reader but no titles are listed. Fortunately this was not the case in Parker’s book, as many of Hannah‘s books are listed and described. I found Hannah to be a great character even when I found myself disagreeing with her. I would definitely read more by this author.

  18. 3 out of 5

    Cookie6102

    The Shortest Way Home chronicles the adventures of Hannah Greene as she impulsively changes the course of her life by deciding to stay at a Sonoma winery instead of heading to New York and her future lucrative Goldman Sachs career. While at Bellosguardo, Hannah meets and befriends a number of influential characters who help her have several epiphanies about life, love, family, and her future. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the winery, for Parker really makes readers feel as if they a The Shortest Way Home chronicles the adventures of Hannah Greene as she impulsively changes the course of her life by deciding to stay at a Sonoma winery instead of heading to New York and her future lucrative Goldman Sachs career. While at Bellosguardo, Hannah meets and befriends a number of influential characters who help her have several epiphanies about life, love, family, and her future. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the winery, for Parker really makes readers feel as if they are there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cupcake Book Lady

    Hannah is well on her way to having her dream life in New York: a wealthy, non-loser boyfriend, a Master’s in Business Management, and a finance job opportunity at a huge company that will pay exceedingly well, and move her in the direction of her life plan, far better than what she left behind as a teenager in Iowa. But when Hannah and her boyfriend decide to visit a few wineries before school ends in California, Hannah falls in love with a little winery and vineyard called Bellosguardo, where Hannah is well on her way to having her dream life in New York: a wealthy, non-loser boyfriend, a Master’s in Business Management, and a finance job opportunity at a huge company that will pay exceedingly well, and move her in the direction of her life plan, far better than what she left behind as a teenager in Iowa. But when Hannah and her boyfriend decide to visit a few wineries before school ends in California, Hannah falls in love with a little winery and vineyard called Bellosguardo, where she is offered a marketing job by its owners, starting immediately! There, she can live in an adorable cottage beside the vineyard, save a company that actually needs her, and slow down from the hectic, beige life of a wealthy New York businesswoman. But what will happen to her boyfriend and their life plan? Is being impulsive for once something that will truly change her life for the better? The Shortest Way Home is a delightful escape to California wine country, along with reevaluation of life goals, and an homage to taking a chance on your dreams, or finding new ones, no matter what age. This book will leave you craving good wine and cheese, the views of a gorgeous sunset over a vineyard to go with it, and maybe a puppy in your lap too. I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley and Penguin Group Dutton Publishers.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    One of the best books I’ve read in 2018! I absolutely adored this book. I was recently in Sonoma, CA and the author’s words transported me back there perfectly. I loved that there was a dog throughout the book and he played such a role. The part I enjoyed the most is that Hannah did what was best for her. She took chances and they were worth the risk. Everyone should read this book with their favorite vino! 🍷

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy!

    The best thing about this is the absolutely charming Sonoma setting and premise. It was such a pleasure to read about summer in wine country, and it made me want to plan a trip up there asap. I had some real issues with the characters, though, mostly in that no one in this book seems to care very much about the commitments they make to other people. Not only is there fairly casual cheating going on, which leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, but Hannah is a real dick to her boyfriend, even when The best thing about this is the absolutely charming Sonoma setting and premise. It was such a pleasure to read about summer in wine country, and it made me want to plan a trip up there asap. I had some real issues with the characters, though, mostly in that no one in this book seems to care very much about the commitments they make to other people. Not only is there fairly casual cheating going on, which leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, but Hannah is a real dick to her boyfriend, even when she's not cheating on him. It made it a little difficult to root for her because she spends the entire book avoiding having a conversation with her boyfriend. Be a fucking grownup, lady! I did my best to pretend like all the characters weren't jerks and enjoy the idyllic setting.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Rosanna

    After having read countless psychological thrillers, I would call The Shortest Way Home a great palette cleanser. Hannah, thirtyish, is graduating from a top business school, starting a highly coveted job and living with her boyfriend in an expensive Manhattan loft. Could life get any better than this? That is the million dollar question is this book. This book could have easily taken a turn down Hallmark/Lifetime movie script, but it didn't. It was well written and since the book takes place in a After having read countless psychological thrillers, I would call The Shortest Way Home a great palette cleanser. Hannah, thirtyish, is graduating from a top business school, starting a highly coveted job and living with her boyfriend in an expensive Manhattan loft. Could life get any better than this? That is the million dollar question is this book. This book could have easily taken a turn down Hallmark/Lifetime movie script, but it didn't. It was well written and since the book takes place in a winery, the descriptions are superb. Every time I picked up the book, I wanted a nice glass of something! While the book was a bit on the side of cliche, there was quite a bit of depth in the characters, written in a great setting, and not everything was wrapped in a nice pretty bow at the end. Great quick read for my summer vacation!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenea Whittington

    Hannah and her boyfriend Ethan take a trip to wine country, a getaway fro them. Away from all the noise of the big city they will soon be living in. Only it doesn’t go according to plan. Hannah falls in love with place and the people. She decides to stay. Hannah has an amazing job waiting for her, but be such a free spirit puts a monkey wrench in the life that her and Ethan were planning. I just adored Hannah for they way she is. Hannah has made friends in the short time during the trip and has s Hannah and her boyfriend Ethan take a trip to wine country, a getaway fro them. Away from all the noise of the big city they will soon be living in. Only it doesn’t go according to plan. Hannah falls in love with place and the people. She decides to stay. Hannah has an amazing job waiting for her, but be such a free spirit puts a monkey wrench in the life that her and Ethan were planning. I just adored Hannah for they way she is. Hannah has made friends in the short time during the trip and has so many ideas that will help the slowly fading winery. But, Ethan is so nonchalant about her ideas, he doesn’t agree with her decision to help this family. I get the laid back attitude. but this is your girlfriend not wanted to leave the vacation place. He kinda agrivated me a little. but I was happy to see Hannah follow her heart and her own needs. There were a few other characters that play a pivotal role in the story. The owners of the winery (Williams parents) were just adorable together. And William the son on the owners and is a free spirit as well just like Hannah. William has big plans to leave. But he also had in interest in Hanna, so the question came to mind while I was reading, would he possibly stay to help with her plans for his parent winery? Or would he move on to what he thought was bigger and better things. The setting was just beautiful. I would soo love taking a trip to wine country after reading this, from the people to wine. To me, it seemed like the perfect place for Hannah too. She could use her skills and maybe even find something more and work on her own happiness. It was quite a journey to follow and the ending was just perfect. The read was so engrossing, emotional and sweet, from the character development to the slow burn romance. I loved it! and I think that readers who enjoy the contemporary romances will enjoy this one too.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paula Pugh

    The Shortest Way Home is a charming and pleasurable novel about a young woman who finds herself in a position to completely deter from her after graduate school plans. On a last trip before moving to New York, Hannah and her boyfriend, Ethan, go on a wine tasting trip to Sonoma, CA and while in Sonoma, she is entranced by the Bellosguardo winery-a small but lovely venue struggling to compete with the mass producing vineyards of the area. Hannah is charmed by the son of the owners and as she list The Shortest Way Home is a charming and pleasurable novel about a young woman who finds herself in a position to completely deter from her after graduate school plans. On a last trip before moving to New York, Hannah and her boyfriend, Ethan, go on a wine tasting trip to Sonoma, CA and while in Sonoma, she is entranced by the Bellosguardo winery-a small but lovely venue struggling to compete with the mass producing vineyards of the area. Hannah is charmed by the son of the owners and as she listens to him talk about the winery and changes that could be mad, she pictures herself as someone who could do just that. Leaving Ethan to continue to New York, Hannah becomes involved in the winery as a marketer, learning from the wife of the owner. There is more going on between them than Hannah first noticed and as she grows into her position, she also grows wrapped up in the stresses and decisions of them and in their personal relationship. All the while, she has been smitten by William, the owner’s son, and he with her. Unfortunately, he is leaving to go to grad school at NYU in a week. Hannah gives it her all, facing the ups and downs of the owner’s relationship and the business of infusing the winery with life and recognition.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen White

    I received an ARC from the writer of this delightful book. A happy read for all oenophiles!

  26. 5 out of 5

    brettlikesbooks

    finding happiness & your place to call home + pairs well with a getaway with your friends to wine country 🍷 *this little beauty comes out this summer, but THANK YOU @dutton for sending it to me to take with me on my trip to Napa!! 😘 🍷 instagram book reviews @brettlikesbooks

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Perchikoff

    The Shortest Way Home initially struck my interest because I love a good comfy romance novel but that's not really what this book is. It does have aspects of that but the romance is more about the main character and Sonoma, California than it really is with another person. Hannah falls in love with Sonoma and with the family she ends up working with much more than she falls in love with one person. She becomes immersed in this family's life and in their winery. But before I get ahead of myself a The Shortest Way Home initially struck my interest because I love a good comfy romance novel but that's not really what this book is. It does have aspects of that but the romance is more about the main character and Sonoma, California than it really is with another person. Hannah falls in love with Sonoma and with the family she ends up working with much more than she falls in love with one person. She becomes immersed in this family's life and in their winery. But before I get ahead of myself and write everything in the intro, let's get to the review. Synopsis (from Goodreads): After years of dreaming of and working toward a life more stable than the one she grew up in, Hannah is finally about to have everything she ever wanted. With a high-paying job, an apartment in Manhattan, and a boyfriend about to propose, all she and Ethan have to do is make it through the last couple of weeks of grad school, and the future they had planned will be theirs to keep. But when they take a romantic weekend trip to Sonoma, and Hannah is spontaneously offered a marketing job at the first (and seemingly financially unstable) winery they visit and doesn't immediately refuse, their meticulously planned forever comes crashing down around them. And then Hannah impulsively does the unthinkable--she turns down her job in New York and decides to stay in California. Abandoning your dream job and life shouldn't feel this good. But for Hannah, it is an eye-opening experience; and she realizes that maybe, after all her dream-chasing, she hasn't actually been caring for herself. And this new life certainly seems like a dream come true--living in a picturesque cottage overlooking a vineyard in lush Sonoma; new friends with pasts and hopes the likes of which she's never encountered before; and William, the handsome son of the winery owners and an aspiring film director who captures Hannah's heart only to leave the very city she let go. The mission to rescue the failing winery becomes a mission to rescue Hannah from the image of herself she thought she wanted. The young girl who ached to escape Iowa and leave her past behind for a glamorous life is now given the chance to come to terms with the upbringing that made her who she is. As I was getting to know Hannah through this book, the first thing that came to mind was "oh, she is not like me." She is outgoing, talks to strangers very regularly, and is pretty great at selling/marketing the wine and the winery once she is hired. I'm a stone-cold introvert, only talk to strangers in the most dire of circumstances, and would rather not have to convince people to buy anything (I used to have to convince people to sign up for credit cards. Me, a person who thinks credit cards are a bad decision in most circumstances lol). So, at first I thought connecting with Hannah might be a little difficult but luckily, I was wrong. The way she cares for her work and the people she works with was possibly the best part of the book. She ends up visiting California with her boyfriend, Ethan for a quick vacation before they move to New York together. She has a position waiting for her at Goldman Sachs (barf) and Ethan is going to be working on an app with some of his friends. But, as you can probably guess, things don't go as planned. When they visit the little winery, it is like Hannah's eyes are opened for the first time. She talks to the bartender, William (i.e. love interest) and gives him a bunch of ideas for marketing the business that he ends up relaying to his mom (It is a family-owned business). After Ethan and her leave, she can't stop thinking about the place and ends up staying in Sonoma once Linda, William's mom, offers her a job. Needless to say, Ethan is pissed, but he's an asshole, so we don't care. But not everything goes smoothly from there on out. Hannah is kind of thrown into a complicated situation. She finds out that the relationship between William's parents (Linda and Everett) is on the rocks. Hannah has to deal with a lot of drama and does it mostly by herself because William soon moves to New York to go to school to write screenplays. I don't want to give too much away because the sections where Hannah works through Linda and Everett's issues is my favorite and I don't want to take those surprises away from you. While this story may be marketed as Hannah and William falling in love, to me it was much more about Hannah working at the winery, finding new friends, and dealing with this incredibly complicated relationship between her two bosses. Linda works the sales part of the winery and Everett is very much behind the scenes, growing and tasting grapes, and working through the whole process of making sure the wine is the best (can you tell I don't drink? lol). I thought I had them figured out from the beginning as just another unhappily-married couple, but they are much more than that. Linda has a past lover she still has a thing for and Everett is (deep down) just looking to make Linda has happy as possible. The twists and turns of their relationship are what kept me reading. All that being said, I did not feel this story was as well-written as it could've been. Some parts felt very rushed including Hannah deciding she was going to stay in Sonoma for the summer. It went so quickly. I know we want to get to the part where Hannah is living in Sonoma as fast as possible but it felt unbelievable and took me out of the story. And probably more disappointing was that most of the story was paced perfectly. The way Linda and Everett's relationship is shown to us in little pieces throughout the book was perfectly done and made the ending that much sweeter. I wish we had that in the beginning as well. There are also some points that were more telling than showing, where I wanted to see the emotions of Hannah rather than be told them. The story was interesting and the characters were honestly quite well developed, but there were a few issues that kept The Shortest Way Home from being really amazing. With all that said, I am giving The Shortest Way Home 3 out of 5 stars. It has some great elements and most of the characters were lovely to get to know and see interact, but, for me, it had a few too many problems for me to give it a higher rating. The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker comes out July 31, 2018 Thank you, NetGalley and Penguin Group/Dutton for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    The Bookish Hooker

    While taking a weekend trip with her boyfriend, Ethan, Hannah Greene falls in love with the Sonoma wine country. The vacation should mark the last weeks of college and the beginning of their future together in New York, but Hannah has a sudden change of heart, as an offer of a job becomes available at a winery they visit. She makes the life-altering decision to stay behind in California and abandon her dreams of New York. With unhappy memories of her childhood, Hannah begins to help the failing While taking a weekend trip with her boyfriend, Ethan, Hannah Greene falls in love with the Sonoma wine country. The vacation should mark the last weeks of college and the beginning of their future together in New York, but Hannah has a sudden change of heart, as an offer of a job becomes available at a winery they visit. She makes the life-altering decision to stay behind in California and abandon her dreams of New York. With unhappy memories of her childhood, Hannah begins to help the failing winery and begins to see herself and her hopes and dreams in a new light. The overall feel of the novel is one of a lighthearted summer read. The pleasant California wine country scenes are beautifully set and well described to give a sense of place. The plot of the book is encouraging and warm. And I always love a book where the main female character is strong enough to walk away without needing a man in her life to fill her sense of self worth. However, this just wasn't a great read for me. There was a sub plot dealing with the owners of the winery that seemed extraneous of the main point of the book and didn't seem to fit. Hannah wasn't very likable. Her immaturity for her age (she came across as more in her early 20's than the 30 that she is) and her unhappiness over growing up poor grated on my nerves at time. I was also uncomfortable with the author's assumption that Hannah's mother, while living in a small town, couldn't understand the basic logic that a job as an executive's assistant at Tiffany's didn't mean that Hannah was wearing diamonds all the time. Also, there was what seemed to be a discrepancy with Hannah's age. While the book seemed to be set in present day time with the mention of social media like Instagram, she mentions that Hannah enjoyed making mix tapes from the Weekly Top 40 when she was 11 with some of her favorite songs being "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Tainted Love". Not sure those work for the time frame. Overall, this was only a 3 star read for me and was possible on the lower end of that rating. Thank you to the publisher, Dutton, for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Julissa

    Hannah didn't have the best childhood, after her father died she and her brother pretty much had to fend for themselves. So naturally when she was able to, she left Iowa and headed to New York City where she begins her journey of self discovery. Now she is finishing her schooling at Berkeley with her boyfriend of two years, Ethan. She even has a dream job waiting for her in New York City, but when her and Ethan escape for a romantic weekend in wine country, California Hannah starts to question h Hannah didn't have the best childhood, after her father died she and her brother pretty much had to fend for themselves. So naturally when she was able to, she left Iowa and headed to New York City where she begins her journey of self discovery. Now she is finishing her schooling at Berkeley with her boyfriend of two years, Ethan. She even has a dream job waiting for her in New York City, but when her and Ethan escape for a romantic weekend in wine country, California Hannah starts to question her future. The California setting of this book was ideal, it was nice reading about a place I know well. The author described it so magically and painted a beautiful picture of the state I love and call home. I also learned so much about wine and how it's made, Miriam definitely did her research. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It had a lot of promise but it just didn't meet my expectations of a good summer romance I feel that the romance portion of this book was slacking, it was more of a self discovery book than anything. The main reason I wanted to read this book was because I wanted a good summer romance read, but this was not the case for me. I really didn't like the main character Hannah,at the age of 30 she was impulsive and very selfish. She kept moping about her past and used it as an excuse to avoid situations. There were parts that were a bit repetitive, and at times I felt the story was kind of slow. I also didn't care for any of the side characters, there was nobody I could relate to. Because of these reasons I rate this book 3 stars.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Susan

    I was divided between whether this book was fluff romance or if it really had depth. I got frustrated with Hannah, the main character, and I wanted to yell, “Make up your mind!” Throughout half the book, but I began to see where Miriam Parker was going with it, finally. It takes me a while to fall off the proverbial turnip truck. Hannah and her boyfriend Ethan went to Sonoma for a romantic long weekend to celebrate making it through their last finals graduate school in business at Berkeley. They I was divided between whether this book was fluff romance or if it really had depth. I got frustrated with Hannah, the main character, and I wanted to yell, “Make up your mind!” Throughout half the book, but I began to see where Miriam Parker was going with it, finally. It takes me a while to fall off the proverbial turnip truck. Hannah and her boyfriend Ethan went to Sonoma for a romantic long weekend to celebrate making it through their last finals graduate school in business at Berkeley. They would graduate in a week. Hannah had a sneaking suspicion that Ethan was going to propose. Since their hotel rooms weren’t quite ready, they walk over to a winery and stopped for a wine tasting. Hannah got a quick sense that she belonged there - a cottage was even for rent! The winery seemed to be struggling or at least needed a boost, and she already had ideas for it. But what about her fancy new job at Goldman Sachs? What about Ethan’s plans for them in New York? And what about William, the handsome son of the owners of the winery? Everett and Linda, William’s parents, offered Hannah a job, and complications set in. Hannah had to unravel her life from the time her father died when she was eleven and decide how she wanted to weave it together again. At the same time, she had to keep up with the new projects she was promoting for the winery and the wonderful old castle that was sitting unused on the property. And, as I said in the beginning, make up her mind about the men in her life. Do not expect a predictable ending; it’s deeper than that.

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