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The Shortest Way Home

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,645 ratings  ·  416 reviews
In her debut novel crackling with humor, heart, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Miriam Parker follows one woman's journey from Iowa to New York City to California wine country, to figure out what being true to oneself really means.

After years of dreaming of and working toward a life more stable than the one she grew up in, Hannah is finally about to have everythin
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Dutton
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Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,645 ratings  ·  416 reviews

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Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it

this isn’t ordinarily the kind of book i would pick up, since i am typically a reader of all things gritty and sinister, but miriam parker is both a dynamo and a kind-hearted lady, even though she refuses to take seriously my begging to become her assistant, so i decided to give it a whirl.

and, no - it’s not a novel that is within my personal reading preferences, but it is one that will delight a large number of readers who aren’t me, and it’s a perfect book to be released durin
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley, 2018
4 Stars and a Glass of Wine🍷 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This is a book all about finding the right path in life for you.... and what happens when you figure out your “dreams“ aren’t really your own? Would you be brave enough to veer off the path that everyone expects from you? And would you be able to sacrifice financial security for personal fulfillment? What really makes a person happy... money? Love? A feeling of purpose? This really was a book that made you think and made you want to visit Sonoma and have a glass
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thirty year old Hannah Greene heads to Sonoma California for a weekend wine trip with her fellow graduate student boyfriend, Ethan.
Both are finishing up their last term at the Berkeley Haas School and after graduation will be heading to New York. Ethan and Hannah already have jobs waiting for them and their futures planned.
Hannah landed the job of a lifetime at Goldman Sachs. A seemingly perfect life awaits Hannah and Ethan, who will joining two friends in software app development.
While they wai
Aug 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Hannah felt incredibly immature for a thirty year old and I had trouble throughout the whole book because so much of it was unbelievable/didn’t make sense. It was also incredibly repetitive and the author did not try to make the heinous amount of cliches interesting or original.
Nicole Overmoyer
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book, The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker, is going to be a favorite for someone.

It is, unfortunately, not a favorite for me.

This genre, summery novels of self-discovery and idyllic locations, have always been hit or miss with me.

This book is a miss, although it was just interesting enough that I finished it.

Set in Sonoma, California wine country, wine is absolutely the point around which all things in the story revolve. It is why Linda and Everett are married, it is the thing they and t
Alafair Burke
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE SHORTEST WAY HOME hit a sweet spot for me, a source of brightness in dark times. Imagine Gilmore Girls set on a winery in Sonoma, except Lorelai is a woman named Hannah who just gave up her high-brow New York City job, and Rory is a spaniel named Tannin. I found myself looking forward to sneaking in a few more pages with Hannah and the rich cast of memorable characters she befriends at the winery. A really delightful read.
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
It's on the lower end of 3 for me, unfortunately. It just felt too shallow, lacking real emotion throughout. I felt the main character was quite immature, which grated on my nerves, and none of them seemed very deep. It didn't feel like there was any real sacrifice or struggle to make me care about this girl and her choices.
However, it was a fairly nice story in a wonderful setting, which I enjoyed. Maybe I just needed more wine to drink while reading.
3.75 stars rounded up. ‘The Shortest Way Home’ by Miriam Parker is a delightful antidote to melancholia. I love tragic books; surely some wisdom is gleaned from sad, powerful thought provoking prose. I hope so, I've read a plenty of them. Occasionally, a light hearted read is in order, a brighter viewpoint that is potent in its own right. This is that book, fun, generous, and wine soaked.

Hannah has been offered (and accepted with a sign on bonus) the perfect job at Goldmans. She even beat out he
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars! I absolutely love books where the female character is starting over in a new location. This lovely gem of a book is about Hannah, who decides to stay in Sonoma after visiting while on vacation. She has graduated college and is a bit lost, as most college graduates are. Hannah’s quest to find herself, and what is important to her, is an eyeopening journey. Miriam Parker has such a beautiful way of writing. On every single page, I felt like I was right there with them holding a glass ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
One of the most poorly written books that I have ever read. Just about every cliche thrown in and a lifetime worth of unbelievable experiences all occur over a few weeks. Most of the winemaking references are inaccurate (the winery makes a Sancerre in Sonoma - impossible since Sancerre is a wine region in France)

It’s a quick and easy read, but for me it just wasn’t enjoyable.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was not fond of the writing in this book. Very repetitive and often boring. I stuck with it since I asked my library to purchase it. I had hope for a better experience since the book centered around wine making in Sonoma.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This might be a case of perfect timing. I needed a book about making BOLD decisions. The lovely talk about wine was just a bonus!!

“... you can change lots of cosmetic things about your life. You can get a graduate degree and have your pick of cities to live in and careers to pursue. You can move from coast to coast, from apartment to house to apartment to cottage and back again. But at the end of the day, you're still yourself.”
The best thing about this is the absolutely charming Sonoma setting and premise. It was such a pleasure to read about summer in wine country, and it made me want to plan a trip up there asap.

I had some real issues with the characters, though, mostly in that no one in this book seems to care very much about the commitments they make to other people. Not only is there fairly casual cheating going on, which leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, but Hannah is a real dick to her boyfriend, even when
Mary Seaman
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
DNF. Was too cheesy for me. The main character is very immature for her age and whiny. The dialogue wasn’t good and the story kept loosing my attention. Since it’s about wine, maybe you’re suppose to drink while reading it to help.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Shortest Way Home was just the light, refreshing read I needed after a string of heavier books. Hannah Greene arrives in wine country for a get-away with her boyfriend before moving to New York and entering the corporate world. She falls in love with Sonoma and suddenly, she sees a new life for herself and decides to chart a different course. I loved the beautiful setting, the characters, and the strong female lead. This was a fun, witty read that left me thirsty for wine and ready for a tri ...more
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely delightful.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Selfish/self-absorbed narrator, impulsive, entitled, zero chemistry with her suitor(s), superficial, easily resolved conflicts after lengthy avoidance, strange side story. The setting sounded so promising, as was the idea.

Also, I don't love reading a book where the only Jewish characters are written in negative stereotypes. Perhaps the author is Jewish? It's not an excuse, though.

The narrator is supposed to be a business school grad, working hard to bring more people to a winery. She seems to d
Dan Radovich
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I hope that there is more coming from Miriam Parker, because she certainly proves her mettle as a talented storyteller with this debut. THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is sure to be devoured by book clubs - it is filled with engaging characters, sublime settings, relatable situations. Hannah, the main character, has her life all plotted out with Ethan until a visit to a Sonoma winery sparks a new untapped desire inside of her. Good-bye New York City. Good-bye Ethan. Good-bye old life. Her life direction c ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Honestly, this seemed like the first draft of what could have been an interesting story. The main character was selfish and shallow, and the side characters underdeveloped. The only thing that kept me going was that it was set in Sonoma, a place I love.
The Book Girl
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it

For a book marked as a romance between Hannah and William, to me, it felt like that covered a small portion of the book. The main parts were the working at the winery, finding new friends, figuring out herself, and dealing with complicated relationships. I felt as if we learned more about her two bosses and her relationship than William. I just was left wanting more romance.

Other characters Linda and Everett were sort of boring characters to me. Everett works behind the scenes in the winery. Gr
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Alternative title: Under the Sonoman Sun. (On an unrelated side note, I just now realized the Williams Sonoma brand is from Northern California. Never made the connection before. Doh!)
Although I know next to nothing about wine I was quickly drawn into this tale of the esteemed beverage, because really, wine is a central character in Miriam Parker's Northern California based novel. On a whim, thirty-year-old Hannah Greene gives up a prestigious job offer from Goldman Sachs, a soon to be fiancé, a
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Shortest Way Home
Miriam Parker

What it's all about...

Hannah and Ethan are on their way to beginning what they both believe will be their life after grad school. Ethan wants his own start up while Hannah has taken a prestigious job in NYC. They are in Wine Country...relaxing before graduation...when Hannah begins to question this established course for her life. Does she want this life as much as Ethan does? Hannah isn’t quite sure and with an extreme leap of faith...Hannah tosses it all asi
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you dream of restarting, in a beautiful locale, while finding yourself, this is the book for you. Hannah is graduating graduate business school and ready to start her life with Ethan in New York when she visits a small winery in Sonoma County. Everett and Linda are trying to grow their small family winery when Hannah shows up and is an answer to some of their their challenges. Facing personal decisions and finding where one is feeling at home, Hannah is a likable character, as are all of the ...more
Mary Gael
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wanted so much more from this book than I got. The dialogue made me wanna rip my head off...the amount of times “said” was used during dialogue was somewhat egregious. least use “responded” or “stated” good GOD. Also, Hannah was such a bad person it was noticeable?? And usually I’m like “oh it’s fine, she’ll grow” and she literally did not?? She treated her boyfriend like garbage like...I get that he’s uptight but cheating on him and stringing him along like that was unforgivable??? ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The thing about self-discovery is that it encourages (even celebrates) selfish behavior. There's not much substance here, but still enjoyable enough for a quick read on a Saturday afternoon.

I won this through a Goodreads giveaway.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every knows I love a good book about life in wine country. Throw in some fantastic literature and classic movie references and a coming of age story, I’m sold.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Hannah is (1) graduating from business school, (2) almost-engaged to the man of her dreams, (3) going to live in a beautiful New York apartment, and (4) set to start the job everyone in business school wanted. Why does she consider throwing all of this away when she is unexpectedly offered a job in a family-run winery?

The Shortest Way Home is a thoughtful look at what is important in life and how we should attempt to get there from the eyes of Hannah, the winery owners, the owners' son, and Hann
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I loved THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker! It’s the story of Hannah, a young woman on the verge of finishing her MBA at Berkeley who, along with her boyfriend Ethan, has her life all planned out. They’ll move to New York, start their careers, and have children that Hannah will quit work to raise. She’s all in until she walks into a winery and realizes that the whole New York thing isn’t really her dream – it’s Ethan’s. She decides to stay at the winery to see if she can figure out w ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
The positives: I enjoyed reading a little bit about wine. And, location was described well.
The negatives: everything else! I hate saying it, but I really disliked this book right from the beginning. I hate pretty much how every character treats the main character. Her boyfriend is an ass, her new employers are gruff or rude, her new friend is pushy and annoying, her new love interest does not show much interest in her. I'm concerned the author does not understand healthy relationships. I kept re
Kelly Hager
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Miriam Parker is clearly someone who has read a lot of books; it's obvious even if you aren't aware that she works in publishing. There are more than a few literary references and this is as much a love letter to books as it is to wine. 

It seems like a lot of characters have their lives completely together and know what they want to do in both the short- and long-term. Initially, this is true for Hannah, too, but it doesn't take long for her to take a leap of faith. And while there are some bump
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Miriam Parker has worked in book publishing for more than eighteen years and is currently the associate publisher of Ecco. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington and a BA in English from Columbia University. Her short stories have been published in The Florida Review and Fourteen Hills. She lives in Brooklyn with her spaniel, Leopold Bloom. The Shortest Way Home is her first novel.

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