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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. 4 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. 4 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. 3 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.)

  6. 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.

  7. 5 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.

  8. 5 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stacey A. Prose and Palate

    Absolutely delightful.

  10. 3 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.

  11. 3 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.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Adriannne Beer

    Hannah felt incredibly immature for a thirty year old and I had trouble throughout the whole book because so much of it was unbelievable/didn’t make sense. It was also incredibly repetitive and the author did not try to make the heinous amount of cliches interesting or original.

  13. 3 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!

  14. 4 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.

  15. 4 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!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cayla

    The thing about self-discovery is that it encourages (even celebrates) selfish behavior. There's not much substance here, but still enjoyable enough for a quick read on a Saturday afternoon. I won this through a Goodreads giveaway.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Every knows I love a good book about life in wine country. Throw in some fantastic literature and classic movie references and a coming of age story, I’m sold.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I was not fond of the writing in this book. Very repetitive and often boring. I stuck with it since I asked my library to purchase it. I had hope for a better experience since the book centered around wine making in Sonoma.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 3 out of 5

    Diane

    It’s hard to believe we’ve come to the unofficial end of summer. Why do summers go by so fast, and winters drag on? If you want to hang on to a little bit more of summer, this month’s Book Report has a few books that will help you do that. Miriam Parker’s delightful debut novel, “The Shortest Way Home,” begins as Hannah and her boyfriend, Ethan, are celebrating their impending business school graduation with a trip through Sonoma wine country before their move to New York City, where Hannah will It’s hard to believe we’ve come to the unofficial end of summer. Why do summers go by so fast, and winters drag on? If you want to hang on to a little bit more of summer, this month’s Book Report has a few books that will help you do that. Miriam Parker’s delightful debut novel, “The Shortest Way Home,” begins as Hannah and her boyfriend, Ethan, are celebrating their impending business school graduation with a trip through Sonoma wine country before their move to New York City, where Hannah will begin a coveted job at Goldman Global Investment Research. They end up at a lovely small family-owned winery, Bellosguardo, where Hannah becomes enchanted by Tannin, the family dog, and the beautiful setting. Hannah strikes up a conversation with the owner’s son, William, and after awhile, she begins to brainstorm some terrific ideas to drum up more business for the small winery. Hannah is the kind of person who likes to talk to the locals to find out where the best places are; Ethan likes to research and plan, and follow that plan to the letter. Ethan prefers to observe, Hannah prefers to interact. Hannah can’t get the small winery out of her head, and when she discovers that she left her wallet at the winery, she returns and meets William’s mother, Linda, who offers Hannah a summer job at the winery working on marketing. Her excitement gets the best of her, and Hannah decides to take the job, which doesn’t pay much, but allows her to live in a sweet little cottage at the winery. Ethan is dumbfounded that Hannah is willing to give up a high-paying job in New York to work at the small winery. He is also concerned what this will do to their relationship, as he loves Hannah and hopes to marry her. I adored “The Shortest Way Home.” If you are a wine lover, as I am, this book is for you. It will have you planning a trip to beautiful wine country, or in the case of central New Yorkers, heading over to one of the many lovely local wineries in the Finger Lakes region to taste the best of what it has to offer. I also think Parker realistically portrays the difficulties of owning a small family business, and the incredibly hard work it is to keep a business afloat. I related to Hannah and Ethan’s habit of looking at a business and coming up with ways to make it more successful (my husband and I like to do that, too). “The Shortest Way Home” is the perfect book to end with this summer. Pour a glass of your favorite white wine, take it out to your comfy front porch chair and settle in for an enchanting read.

  22. 3 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.

  23. 5 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.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Sherrie Howey

    This is such a sweet, charming book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Having recently read some intense books, this was the perfect follow up book. Hannah has just finished business school in California and is scheduled to move to New York with her boyfriend and has lined up a great job. A side trip to Sonoma makes Hannah question her future and change her scheduled path. The descriptions of the scenery and the winery are phenomenal. The author does an excellent job of immersing the reader into the sett This is such a sweet, charming book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Having recently read some intense books, this was the perfect follow up book. Hannah has just finished business school in California and is scheduled to move to New York with her boyfriend and has lined up a great job. A side trip to Sonoma makes Hannah question her future and change her scheduled path. The descriptions of the scenery and the winery are phenomenal. The author does an excellent job of immersing the reader into the setting and the story. My favorite characters were Linda, Everett and Hannah. Grab some California wine and settle in for a delightful read. Congratulations to the author for her debut novel and I eagerly await her next novel.

  25. 5 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.

  26. 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! 🍷

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Books about wineries aren't my thing. The location was beautiful. I understand why Hannah wanted to move there. I didn't enjoy the wine, but I did enjoy the food. There was a lot more wine than food, though. The characters were okay, but they all made some bad decisions, especially where the ending is concerned. That was a disappointment.

  28. 4 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!

  29. 3 out of 5

    Jackie

    Fun read set in Sonoma. It did not end the way I expected it to so if I could give 3.5 ⭐ I would have.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ema

    This a perfectly acceptable way to pass an afternoon. Very impressed with their wine tasting skills, really, because I definitely wouldn't be able to taste that lavender smell. I like the premise, I do, it just felt a little too formulated and events a tad too organised.

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