The Wine of Astonishment

Rachel Mackenzie

The Wine of Astonishment is a rediscovered classic: a portrait of two unmarried sisters in upstate New York during the early twentieth century. Esther and Martha are confined to their estate, nearing middle age, and wholly unfamiliar with independence. Sudden death relieves them of their imperious mother but unwittingly exposes them to stifling social rules. Affairs and desires sow dissent and defiance within the joined selves of two sisters, eternal interlopers. Fateful and ironic, MacKenzie’s novel is a humble account of the courage it takes to appreciate life exactly as it is.

  • “Mackenzie has performed a small miracle.” —The New York Times