This post is a collection of quotes from the book - These Tangled Vines by Julianne Maclean. These Tangled Vines is a sweeping and captivating tale of one woman’s journey to the lush vineyards of Tuscany - and into the mysteries of a tragic family secret.

Quotes

I was under no illusions that the family members would be happy to see me. I was an outsider, an illegitimate child, a skeleton in the closet who had emerged at the worst possible time - to claim a piece of their inheritance.

This family has a talent for making life far more difficult than it has to be. Everything is a battle.

It just makes me feel kind of dirty, liquidating our father’s life’s work for cash.

I keep paying other people to make me perfect and happy. But maybe there’s no such thing as perfect, and I think I just need to eat some pasta and not worry about it.

I didn’t expect this to happen today. I thought I was just going to inherit some dinky little plot of land somewhere, maybe half an acre with a little house on it. Not the whole kit and caboodle.

Marry someone soft. The kind of man who wouldn’t hurt a flea.

It was easier sometimes to go with the flow and simply let fate carry you along. Then you couldn’t blame yourself when the river got angry and threw you up against a rock. It was simply your lot in life.

I once read that people who are going through cancer treatment sometimes feel like the disease was a gift, no matter the outcome, whether they beat it or not, because they feel like their spirits are awakened.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, don’t you think? As long as we’re not hurting anyone.

Why do we always wait for traditional special occasions to enjoy good things? Maybe we just need to create our own special occasions.

I’ve always objected to Valentine’s Day, because I don’t think a day like that should come only once a year. Every day should be Valentine’s Day. People should say I love you all the time or show their love, even in small ways.

I must be my father’s son, because I like my martinis like I like my women. Dirty. Really dirty.

You asked why I prefer Italy over my home country these days. I’m not sure if I ever gave you an adequate answer, but this is precisely why. Tuscans love to celebrate. You have a food festival for everything, isn’t that right?

What is more fun than enjoying delicious food and wine under the light of the moon at the end of a long day?

A change in your geographic location won’t suddenly make you a happier, more fulfilled person or a better mother.

Please allow me to say something, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. You Italians sure do know how to cook.

To my lovely wife, who brings a grown man to tears with her squash ravioli.

There is something about artistic men that is very appealing, don’t you agree?

Isn’t that what life is about? Trying new things? Finding out what you love doing? Then taking a deep dive into it?

There’s nothing wrong with supporting your husband’s dreams. It’s a good thing, if you ask me, but it has to go both ways. He needs to support your dreams too. That’s where most couples run into trouble, I think. I speak from experience.

I’ve often thought that a marriage is like a covered wagon, full of the stuff of life. The man and the woman are the two workhorses who pull it. Eventually, it gets heavy. There are children in the wagon, a home that needs to be maintained, feelings that need to be protected and nurtured when life throws curveballs. It works when both partners pull together, but the journey can’t continue for long if one partner unbuckles the straps and decides to ride in the wagon, because it’s easier, and because he knows his partner will keep pulling no matter what.

Nothing to get a man down on himself like a woman telling him she never wants to see him again.

It hardly seemed possible that she’d only known him a few weeks. It seemed like he had been inside her heart forever, just waiting to step out of it, into her world.

It wasn’t easy to keep a secret that made your heart want to burst out of your chest.

I didn’t mean to suggest, that having money means you’ve lost your right to be unhappy. Life sucks sometimes, whether you’re rich or poor.

Sometimes I wonder if handsome, wealthy men are even capable of being faithful to one woman for the rest of their lives when younger women are always throwing themselves at them.

It’s important to cherish every day, not take anything for granted.

I don’t want to turn out like my mom, believing that everyone is the enemy and life is a battlefield and whoever gets the most money in the end wins.

All you can do is accept the past for what it was and be thankful for where you are today.

Though it’s important to look forward, not back, I also think it’s important to reflect on past mistakes and learn from them. It helps you move forward in the right direction.

I want to be a good mother - the kind of woman who’s not a doormat and can’t be bought. I want my kids to know what it means for a woman to be strong and independent. I just hope I can figure out how to be that kind of woman.

Life is rough for everyone, and it’s complicated. It’s full of hairpin turns we don’t see coming.

What good could come from grappling forever with “could have beens”? Every life was full of “could have beens.” The best we could do was make the most of what was and what had been.

There was a tremendous relief in that - in the purging of secrets and the guilt that accompanied them. I felt somehow lighter, as if I had used a shovel to excavate my soul.

I was beginning to accept that regret would always be a part of my life. I was only human, after all, and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t escape it. What I decided was that I would not let it consume or define me.