This story gives so much to its readers. It’s one very emotional ride for the characters, but the lessons in grace and forgiveness are unmistakable. It didn’t take long for me to be swept away to the lovely vineyards, where heritage and hard work are intertwined.

There is a lot of emotions for everyone to work through in this story. Natalie’s journey is very difficult and my heart cried for her through her loss and struggle. I was gripped by every page to see if she’d overcome the past that haunts her.

Tanner’s life has its heartache too, which had me in tears at times. I just wanted to give him a hug! Watching his story unfold around Natalie’s was very well done. The sweet moments wrapped around the serious ones in a healthy balance. This book isn’t what I would call lighthearted, but it still offers the light of truth and hope to its readers.

I also loved the homey feel that the winery brings to Natalie’s story, along with her grandfather’s presence. The secondary characters have full lives too and are facing their own uphill battles.

This author always manages to create a delicate balance of reality, while rewarding readers with a satisfying conclusion. I admire her strength in storytelling.

I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.



Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.


Purchase Links

The Things We Knew - My Review | The Engrafted Word


Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Visit her online at, Facebook: CatherineJWest, and Twitter: @cathwest.