Publication Date: October 2012
230 pages, Oblique Presse,
available on Lulu.com ,
Available in ebook for $3.99
and paperback for $14 at Amazon.com
and in paperback for $14 at Lulu.com
When Fia Jennings loses her job at the local newspaper, she dreams of bonding with her teenage twins. As she realizes she may be too late to pull her family closer, her husband Grayson pressures her to find another job to pay the increasing bills. Relief comes with a phone call from Fia’s great Uncle Martin who runs a bed and breakfast in Provence. Uncle Martin wants Fia to venture to France to run the B&B so he and his wife Lucie can travel. He doesn’t tell Fia about the secret he hid in the house after fighting in World War II, and he doesn’t mention the people who are tapping his phone and following him, hoping to find the secret.
After much cajoling, Fia whisks her family to France and is stunned when Uncle Martin and Aunt Lucie leave the same day for a Greek cruise. She’s thrown into the minutiae of a running the B&B without the benefit of speaking the language. Her dreams of family bonding time fade as her teenagers make French friends. Fia’s husband Grayson begins touring the countryside with a sophisticated French woman, and Fia resists the distractions of Christophe, a fetching French man. Why the whirlwind of French welcome, Fia wonders after she comes home from a day at the beach in Nice to find someone has ransacked the B&B.
Fia analyzes Uncle Martin’s obscure phone calls, trying to figure out this WW II hero’s secret. Can she uncover the secret and relieve Uncle Martin’s guilt while building the family she’s always dreamed of?
(No violence. No graphic sex, some sexual situations.)
I enjoyed very much The Summer of France when I read it last year.
In my review, I mentioned:
- It starts on the quiet side as Fia hopes for a kind of new beginning thanks to the invitation of her uncle and aunt to go and run their B&B during the summer, so that they can take a break.
- But things are never what they look, are they? And so this gentle book grabs you and pulls you into all kinds of unexpected surprises and mysteries…
- It is a rich narrative, with characters you can easily imagine in real life…
- And all of this with Provence as the background…
These are only snippets of my review. I suggest you go read it all, to see why I was so enthusiastic about this novel
Today, for France Book Tours, I would like to highlight a few passages where the author mentions countryside scenes in France, to have you enjoy a bit of some peaceful views in case you can’t spend you summer there this year!
Aunt Lucie stood on the flagstones by the front door of the house as Uncle Martin zoomed up the drive through the row of plane trees, those thick-trunked trees with pale, peeling bark. Their trunks looked like so many well-ordered school children standing in line, walking two by two, then their tops erupted into a riot of limbs and leaves.
“I can’t believe you have these trees,” I cried. I loved everything I had seen from the train station with its modern glass walls to the winding roads and the glimpses of villages built into cliffs. Then to see the gorgeous mountains in the distance and turn into a lane lined with plane trees. My fantasy life was nowhere near this rich”. p. 28 on Nook
I got up early, while the day began still cool and the birds called to each other. The song thrush with his rhythmic whistles hailed the morning and I searched the trees for his mottled brown breast. I found a cow path of sorts that cut through the countryside to the village. And I located Aunt Lucie’s stash of canvas bags for the market. I slung a bag over my arm and walked between the shrubs and fences and boulders. Past the low fence with the pony behind it. I’d stop and grab a handful of long grass to offer the pony. A shock of straight blond mane fell between his ears and into his eyes as his yellow teeth munched the fresh grass. p.52
I tried to focus on all the wonderful things that had happened, even if I spent my days working hard: the few snippets of language I had learned, the wonderful food I bought at the bakery and the markets, the peacefulness that came walking along that grassy path in the morning or throwing open big wooden shutters. Those were the things I gained in France, even if family unity escaped me. I took another breath. p.63
Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 10 times, and still finds more to lure her back.
She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three teenagers, two cats and one husband.
You can read more about The Summer of France by visiting the following reviewers and book bloggers. Several offer you a copy of this book as a giveaway.
VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE
Wednesday, June 19
Review + Giveaway at Chocolate & Croissants
Friday, June 21
Interview + Giveaway at The French Village Diaries
Monday, June 24
Review + Giveaway at Caffeinatedlife.net
Tues, June 25
Review + Giveaway at Suko’s Notebook
Wednesday, June 26
Highlights + Giveaway at Words And Peace
You can get an extra chance to win this book by entering the June Book of the Month Giveaway, and of course by entering my own giveaway here:
when you enter a giveaway, I keep your email address only until a winner has been chosen and has confirmed. After that, I delete the form where your answers were stored during the duration of the giveaway. If you win and you email me your mailing address, I delete this email and its information as soon as I have mailed you the book.