by JoAnn Ross
Publication Date September 7, 2021
Published by Harlequin
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Genres: Family & Relationships, Fiction, Fiction / General, Fiction / Women, Historical, Marriage & Family
With a dramatic WWII love story woven throughout, JoAnn Ross's women’s fiction debut is a generational saga full of sisterly affection and rivalry, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs, Mary Alice Monroe and Lisa Wingate.
When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born to a different mother, discover that they’re now responsible for the family’s Oregon vineyard—and for a family they didn’t ask for.
After a successful career as a child TV star, Tess is, for the first time in her life, suffering from a serious identity crisis, and renewed resentment around losing her father all over again.
Charlotte, brought up to be a proper Southern wife, gave up her own career to support her husband's political ambitions. On the worst day of her life, she discovers her beloved father has died, she has two sisters she never knew about, and her husband has fallen in love with another woman.
Natalie, daughter of Jack’s longtime mistress, has always known about her half sisters. And she can’t help feeling that when Tess and Charlotte find out, they’ll resent her for being the daughter their father kept.
As the sisters reluctantly gather at the Maison de Madeleine to deal with their father's final wishes, they become enchanted by the legacy they've inherited, and by their grandmother’s rich stories of life in WWII France and the wounded American soldier who would ultimately influence all their lives.
The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a fascinating dual timeline story that focuses on a French Resistance worker, and an American Forces Pilot in the World War II timeline, and three half-sisters, and their grandmother in the present-day timeline.
Tess, a novelist and former child actress, Charlotte, a southern designer, and Natalie, a French photographer are all summoned to the Maison de Madeleine winery in Aberdeen, Oregon, to listen to their Father’s reading of his will. Each of the sisters has different mothers, and they grew up separately, and not knowing each other. In fact, some did not even have knowledge of their sister’s existence until the summons.
At the winery, they meet their 96-year-old Grandmother who tells them her story of meeting their Grandfather during the war in France. They were each a hero in their own way during the French resistance and have a fascinating story of their own. The sisters also have to learn to forgive their father for his lack of parenting and learn to forgive and love each other as they learn more about their famous photographer’s father.
I found this book to be a fast read and I was engrossed in the story immediately. I love stories of sisters and forgiveness and love, and the author did an excellent job of giving us well-developed characters who are all likable and flawed at the same time. I also enjoyed reading about the grandmother and her time in Nazi-occupied France, and her rescue of the American pilot who she eventually marries. The suffering of the French people during this terrible time in history is illustrated in the Grandmothers story.
I recommend this book to fans of WWII history and lovers of multi-generational family sagas. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.