Anne Woodard: I have eagerly been awaiting the arrival of “A Sudden Gift of Fate”, the sequel to Mary Pat Hyland’s first novel, “The Cyber Miracles”! I especially was interested in finding out how she would weave New York’s Finger Lakes wine country into her new book. Not only has she successfully captured the spirit and excitement of the Finger Lakes wine industry, she has given us a glimpse as to what goes on behind the scenes in producing award winning wines! Each chapter starts with a short description of the grapes used in winemaking and their history!
With the beautiful Finger Lakes setting as a backdrop, Hyland weaves stories of the 2 main couples from her first novel into 2 compelling story lines that gracefully move in and out of each other as they follow each couple through their joys, frustrations, and celebrations. The theme of HOPE is central to both storylines and blends the stories together as if they were ingredients in one of Maeve’s bakery treats.
As many of the characters in this book are from Ireland, Hyland’s command of Gaelic is a definite plus in her book, and conversations flow easily and natually. Her knowledge of Irish customs provides a great source of backdrops for various scenes in the book. This coupled with her hands on knowledge of the Finger Lakes region makes for very belivable situations and conversations!
I literally could not put this book down. It moved at a good pace, and held my interest from start to finish. I loved the characters, both the new and the old, and genuinely missed reading about them when the book was done. This book is another stellar offering from Hyland…I can’t wait for the next book in the series!!!
Merritt: I drank up every luscious word of this finely crafted novel. I’m ready for another round of Maeve Kenny and her friends, their love lives and adventures. A Sudden Gift of Fate is wonderfully fortuitous for all.
Cynthia D. Arnold: I loved learning about the Finger Lake region of New York State. I lived so close (Schenectady) and yet never made it to this wine country. These people from Ireland were so interesting as they began their wine-making venture.