Friday, November 27, 2015
REVIEW: The French For Christmas by Fiona Valpy
Author: Fiona Valpy
Publication Date: October, 2014
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Description: When her best friends offer the use of their cottage in the beautiful French countryside, Evie jumps at the chance. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband, celebrity chef Will Brooke, plastered over the news with his latest ‘love interest’, leaving the country seems like the perfect plan.
Armed with her French grandmother’s tattered notebook of recipes, Evie is determined to ignore Christmas altogether and bake herself back to happiness.
And when Evie meets her next-door neighbor – the très gorgeous doctor Didier she finds a very willing taste-tester. But is it possible that he could be interested in more than just her Tarte Tatin?
With snow falling, a special Réveillon dinner and a little Christmas magic in the air, could Didier even be the one to thaw Evie’s heart? Or will a visit from the ghost of Christmas past change everything?
My Thoughts: The Christmas season is upon us and The French For Christmas is a wonderful choice to get the holiday spirits raised. This heartwarming story by new to me author, Fiona Valpy, introduces us to Evie Brooke, a woman carrying immense emotional pain after the stillborn birth of her daughter a year ago, the loss of her marriage and her beloved bistro. The last thing she wants is to get dragged into the revelry of the Christmas holiday. When her best friends offer Evie the use of their cottage in the French countryside, Evie accepts their offer in the hope that this will be the perfect opportunity to avoid the holiday and the reminders of all she has lost.
I loved this story. My heart broke for everything Evie has gone through and I felt a deep empathy for her continued struggle to come to terms with everything. I applauded her choice to try something new instead of burying herself in her flat and hiding from everyone. I thought agreeing to go to France was a brave decision and braver, still, was her willingness to reach out to others, her sister, about to give birth to her own child, her parents, her estranged husband, her friends and her new neighbors in France. She could have stayed hidden in the cottage and became a hermit, but she didn’t and that made this story so beautiful. She even participates in helping a mare birth her foal.
This story also had some very humorous scenes involving a pig running loose and meeting the handsome Doctor Didier for the first time. Laughter through tears is very therapeutic and I loved how these new experiences begin to bring Evie out of her shell. Add in wonderful food and the love of family and friends and a Christmas miracle is born. The French For Christmas is a perfect addition to your Christmas season reading. I highly recommend this book if you like stories of love, healing, forgiveness and new beginnings.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The French For Christmas from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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