I LOVE FRANCE!
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The Promise of Provence
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received a free paperback of this book from the author
in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post,
and the thoughts are my own.
This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
I’m going to be very transparent here. Featuring books related to France on France Book Tours does not mean I am going to read them all – there are not enough hours in the day… and the night, for it! When I read the synopsis of The Promise of Provence, I thought I would pass on this one. When Patricia Sands asked me if I would be interested in reading and reviewing it myself, I answered, maybe not, because this sounds like too much of a romance to me, and because this is not a familiar genre to me, and I usually do not like too much books focusing on women. I may give you a bad review – just because I don’t know too well how to read and evaluate correctly this genre.
Patricia said, well here is one free copy for you anyway, do whatever you want with it. As I received this volume, thicker than I expected and with an irresistible cover, I thought, well, I have the book, let’s give it a shot. Plus it is on Provence, which I love I had to admit- who does not, except on Mistral days? – the Mistral is a wind that can be quite violent and cold in Provence. I had a tough experience of it last year.
So I opened the book, and by page 5, no Marseille exaggeration here [Marseille is the French Texas of Provence – their inhabitants are renowned, all over France, to exaggerate everything], so by page 5, I was TOTALLY hooked and I kept reading and devoured the book in about 2 days.
Kat (Katherine) lives in Canada. She is 55, has been married for many years, but on their wedding anniversary, her husband introduces a totally unexpected “bomb” in her life. That’s the setting at the opening of the book, and this is masterly written. Kat has to reevaluate all her life and relationships. She feels totally destroyed and needs to relearn how to live strong and happy. To make things worse, she will also have to face sickness and death in her family and major changes in her work life as well.
She is going to try to relearn life thanks to a few very close and true friends. They especially encourage her to change her environment through a home exchange with a family in Provence. There, she discovers new people, and animals!, calming nature, and a more peaceful pace of life that will help her stand on her two feet again, especially thanks to a second longer home exchange, still in Provence.
This sounds flat, and I knew writing this book review would be a challenge. But believe me, nothing is flat in this novel: yes there is romance, yes it’s a lot about strong women friendship, but it is analyzed in a very deep way, with strong, very different, and well defined characters. There’s a lot going on, including WWII history elements (in Hungary, another country very dear to my heart!)
I really enjoyed seeing how Kat evolved innerly as a reaction to her exterior environment and the new people she met.
I loved all the local references to culture, music (for instance a young French singer who sings like Edith Piaf – I will let you read the book to discover her!), history, to restaurants, marketplaces, and hikes and bike routes in the countryside. I actually went to double check if some of these restaurants did exist, and they do. So as a plus you can find in the book lots of recommendations where to eat and even what to order if you ever go yourself in that part of the world!
In a word, this is the perfect book to read this summer, so inspiring and rejuvenating. If you are familiar with my book reviews, you know by now I can be very picky; trust me, this is a very good book, it’s well worth your time and money. It might even give you the desire to try a home exchange for yourself, and honestly, what better place to start with than Provence?
If you cannot go there this summer, you could like this Facebook page which daily posts gorgeous pictures on Provence: Provence Mon Amour!
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
June in Provence is full of promise when Katherine arrives from Canada, eager to feel renewed by her surroundings. Endless rows of lavender prepare to burst into pink and purple blooms. Fields of sunflowers flow in golden waves among vineyards and olive groves overlooked by ancient hilltop villages. It’s the postcard setting she envisioned, but is that all she needs?
After a year of heartbreak, Katherine has impulsively agreed to a home exchange in the south of France. Colorful locals, a yellow lab named Picasso, and the inspiring beauty of the countryside breathe new life into her days.
Seeking to shed the pain of betrayal and loss, she struggles to recapture her joie de vivre and searches for the answer to a haunting question: is it too late to begin again?
“Be prepared to fall in love with Provence! This is a story that will draw you in with its vibrancy in setting and characters. A must read for any woman with a desire for romance and travel.” Steena Holmes, author of Amazon bestseller Finding Emma [author’s website]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France. With a focus on women’s issues and ageing, her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship. Encouraging women of all ages to stare down the fear factor and embrace change, she has heard from readers ages 20 to 83.
Her award-winning debut novel The Bridge Club was published in 2010.
Her second novel, The Promise of Provence is an Amazon Hot New Release as of April 2013.
Pop in to visit her at:
Here are some terrific reviews of the same book, plus extra chances for you to win it as an ebook or sometimes an amazon gift card:
VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE
Monday, July 1
Giveaway at Vvb32 Reads
Tuesday, July 2
Review + Giveaway at Chocolate & Croissants
Thursday, July 4
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Friday, July 5
Interview at The French Village Diaries
Saturday, July 6
Excerpt posted by Helena Fairfax
Sunday, July 7
Review + Giveaway at Walkie Talkie Book Club
to Nice and the countryside of Provence in June 2014.
Come join in the magic!
Ok, you have been super patient reading this long post, so here is finally how you can enter my own giveaway:
I will draw 1 winner on 7/15
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.
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK ON PROVENCE?
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