Title: Raspberries and Vinegar (Farm Fresh Romance #1)
Author: Valerie Comer
Publisher: Choose NOW Publishing
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Genre: Christian romance/Sustainable living
Source: Received for an honest review from the publisher.
Book Description Courtesy of Amazon:
Breaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, in RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR, Josephine Shaw and her two friends renovate a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. However, transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by neighbor Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.
This could have been a real favorite of mine with its connection of sustainable living to some Christian ideologies mentioned throughout the story. Unfortunately, however, it will not be so. I truly agree with many of the sentiments throughout the book regarding sustainable farming and although I have only taken very small baby steps in that direction, I would love to live as these three girls are setting out to do (which is why it got 3 stars). I do not, however, agree with Josephine’s presentation of their ideas. We would not have been friends, despite our shared ideals. I assume (from the book’s discussion questions) that the author meant her to be annoying, just so she’s more of an opposite personality to Zach. I understand the reasoning, but the method doesn’t seem to lend itself to convincing anyone else of their beliefs.
I also didn’t like the plot twist near the end. I stopped reading Nicholas Sparks for almost 7 years because of his tendency to do things like that in his books, and I normally wouldn’t hesitate do it with other authors either. Despite these things, I would probably continue this series to see where the plans for the farm are taken, and learn what I can from their relationship of Christianity to sustainable living. I would also like to see if Josephine evolves as a character and to see if the twist turns into what I think it will. The book was a decent beginning to the series, if you can overlook some of the character attributes. The actual ideas presented are more than worth reading about and researching if you’re interested in things like that, just try to ignore the overbearing and downright condescending way some of them come across.
HEAT Rating: sweet
Reviewed By: Daysie W.
Review Courtesy of: My Book Addiction and More