At the end of the summer, I was happy to curl up with a book that takes place in a beautiful winery, with two handsome male characters vying for the protagonists hand. It sounds fun and escapist–and it is! But Miriam Parker’s The Shortest Way Home goes deeper than its bubbly, clear surface, subtly questioning conventional definitions of success for its heroine, Hannah, who begins the novel with a lucrative job and a rich boyfriend.
She ends it in a far different place. Lilith spoke to Parker about undercutting rom-coms, learning about wine, and her favorite Jewish feminists.
What inspired you to set the book in wine country?
The germ of it began a long time ago. In around 2010, I was out in California for work, and by myself, I got a little hotel room in downtown Sonoma, walked around, and fell in love with the place. I even found a winery and ended up signing up for the wine club so every few months these wines would show up and remind me.