Cover image for Jacaranda Vines
Jacaranda Vines
McKinley, Tamara.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
406 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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After years of dominating Australia's wine industry, Jock Witney dies, leaving his family's business in a shambles. Despite offer worth hundreds of millions for the company, the family is split and unable to agree on the future of Jacaranda Vines. Exhausted after years of Jock's violent temper and exacting ways, it would be a relief to sell Jacaranda to the highest bidder, but Cordelia, Jock's long estranged widow, insists on keeping the winery together.
In need of an ally, Cordelia takes her granddaughter on a trip through the harsh Australian outback, sharing with Sophie tales of hardship and secrets from the past. She begins her story with Rose, a young girl running from her native England in hopes of finding a new life in the wild unknown of Australia.
From Sussex Downs in the 1830s to modern day Australia, Tamara McKinley's breathtaking new novel traces the lives of several generations of one unforgettable family.

Author Notes

Tamara McKinley was born and raised in Australia, but has lived in England for many years. She writes full time and frequently travels to Australia to do research for her books and visit her eldest son.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In a powerful, multigenerational saga as vast and complex as the Australian continent on which it unfurls, McKinley uncovers deep-rooted family secrets and long-closeted skeletons that threaten the future of Jacaranda Vines, Australia's leading vineyard. During his life, Jock Witney ruled both the winery and his family with despotic tyranny. In death, his treachery only served to pit family members against each other in a contentious, internecine battle to determine the company's fate. Desperate to preserve her family's legacy, Jock's 90-year-old widow, Cordelia, must reach across generations to forge a solution designed to repair old rifts and create new alliances. In so doing, she harkens back to the wretched ships that transported convicts and outcasts from Britain to Botany Bay, weaving a tale of the lost loves and daring dreams that were destined to shape a nation and spawn a dynasty. From the bush to the boardroom, McKinley's sweeping drama bursts with intense emotions, exotic locations, and passionate portrayals of a demanding land and its dynamic people. --Carol Haggas

Library Journal Review

The death of Australian wine tycoon Jock Witney leaves his empire on the brink of financial ruin and his family exhausted by his tyrannical management of both his business and their personal lives. Faced with the potential of either bankruptcy or an unfriendly takeover by a French conglomerate, the family debates their fate. Fearful of losing their livelihood and lavish lifestyle, they let their emotions run high, and bickering nears the boiling point. Jock's widow, Cordelia, finally demands an adjournment to look at other options. While the rest of the family smolders, Cordelia goes on a walkabout to a distant vineyard with her granddaughter, Sophia. More than a sentimental journey, this trip allows Cordelia both to gain Sophia as an ally and share with her the colorful history of the family and the vast Jacaranda Vines estate. Cordelia recounts the saga of generations who built the empire from tiny cuttings brought from France and Germany, which were planted by prisoners and fugitives and then nurtured through onslaughts of weather, wildlife, and poachers. As in Matilda's Last Waltz (LJ 8/00), McKinley paints a vast canvas of the Australian landscape, complete with colorful, well-drawn characters, sharp historical detail, and enough action and passion to capture and hold a wide audience. Highly recommended for public libraries. Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.