“Water Into Wine” by Joyce Chng (2017)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fiction
Page Length: 92 pages (electronic review copy)
When war comes to your planet, everything changes.. perhaps even the meaning of family and identity.
Xin inherits a vineyard on a distant planet, and moves there to build a life… but an interstellar war intervenes. Will Xin’s dreams of a new life get caught in the crossfire? Xin’s understanding of family and sense of self must evolve to cope with the changes brought by life on a new planet and a war that threatens everything. (description from Goodreads)
Water into Wine is a Sci-fi novella about a futuristic earth. The main character Xin is newly divorced who finds out they have inherited her grandfathers beloved vineyard on a new planet. Xin and family move to the new planet with hope for a promising new life, but bliss is cut short as war moves on the horizon. Xin deals with many issues throughout the story such as sexuality, family, and self-discovery. The book also details and expresses the horrors that war can bring from the people who are on the front lines and at home. Everyone is affected in different ways and we see how war takes a toll on the main characters especially.
The novella has a smooth pace and is a fast read at 92 pages.. My only complaint would be is that I wanted more background from the characters and that the dialogue felt stagnant at times. The book depicts life before war, during, and after. It is also infused with Chinese culture the main character refers to their native language and partakes in traditional ceremonies and food of their culture.
This novella displays the wide array of human emotions. And I especially appreciated the lyrical narrative and strong metaphors used to express to readers how each character was feeling. I don’t know if I could make the decisions as the narrator did to stay on a planet in the midst of war knowing the misfortune that might fall. Water Into Wine is a somber tale, but very engaging.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Annorlunda Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.