The Truth is in the Wine: A Novel by Curtis Bunn

It killed me to not like this book better: the premise was intriguing and I had high hopes from the author’s other works.  But erratic and often repetitive writing, poor work choice, metaphors that missed dramatically, and a tone that felt far more frat boy in the locker room than adult males after several years of marriage rather killed the feel for me.

Curtis Bunn can write a beautiful passage, but there seems to be some hesitation (or lack of solid editing) for a passage that describes something unpleasant, and does so well is ended with a “that wasn’t good”.  Give readers some credit, if the writing leads us to a negative connotation, we don’t need to be told again.  You aren’t reinforcing the point, you are angering readers who will, after several similar experiences in the same book begin to feel as if the author is discounting their intelligence.

There were so many instances when editing would have helped: stream of consciousness writing does provide a unique perspective, but without reining that in, and providing a clear feeling for the point of view that is providing the narration at that point, the story loses focus, and the reader loses will.

Humor is wholly subjective, but the frequent ‘everyone laughed’ moments were often in poor taste, and felt, sadly, as if the humor  was developed under the influence of the wine.  While the lowered inhibitions presented when someone has a few drinks is well-known, what also emerges is a rather hazy view: brilliant ideas are really not so brilliant and what was funny then is somehow lost in the translation.  If the point here was to present a story as if the protagonist was retelling through the haze of a drunken binge, it was halfway successful.  If that was not the point, I go back to a call for an editor, a tightening of description, checking the facts on metaphors or explaining them better, and an editor. Again.

The Truth is in the Wine: A Novel by Curtis Bunn

Title: The Truth is in the Wine: A Novel
Author: Curtis Bunn
Genre: African-American, Literary Fiction /Family Saga
Published by: Strebor Books
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 288
Rated: two-stars
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There are some secrets that are better left that way… In this gripping novel of twisted moral dilemmas, a man tries to save his troubled marriage by taking a trip to Napa Valley after secretly winning the lottery.

Paul Wall’s marriage is in trouble. In addition to losing his job, he loses all of his self-esteem, and soon his wife, Ginger, is as unhappy as he is. However, when Paul wins millions of dollars in the Georgia state lottery, he concocts a master plan to regain his wife’s love.

A passionate wine-drinker, Paul convinces Ginger to accompany him on a trip to romantic Napa Valley, but Paul keeps his winnings a secret; he wants to win her back on his own merits. Ginger insists her mom, a recent widow, travels with them. Paul then insists his mom, recently divorced, join them. This quartet of characters travels together to California and, with the influx of wine loosening their inhibitions, they end up revealing secrets better left untold.

With controversial ethical dilemmas at its heart, The Truth is in the Wineis a remarkable and riveting novel that will put you in the characters’ shoes, wondering what you’d do next if you had millions of dollars to spend and a marriage and relationships to save.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Curtis Bunn

Curtis Bunn, a Washington, D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, is an Essence No. 1 best-selling author whose ability to expose the mind, thoughts, motivations and vulnerabilities of his characters has made him a reader’s favorite.

Since 2008, Curtis has served as an adjunct professor/guest lecturer at Morehouse College in the Sports Reporting class, which is part of the Journalism and Sports Program founded by film director Spike Lee and the late, great journalist Ralph WIley.

Curtis, who lives near Atlanta, has a son, Curt, and a daughter, Gwen