Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review: The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

Oooh la la – what a delightful, delicious, delectable and divine story!

Katherine Price has the year from hell.  Very unexpected circumstances put her in a position where she feels that she has ended one life and needs to start afresh.  When her cousin tells her about a house exchange program they have done, Katherine thinks this might be just the thing she needs.  When she looks around the internet, she remembers how much she loved the south of France when she was younger and finding a perfect exchange place, decides to jump in both feet first and go for it.

Here, she makes a new canine best friend called Picasso, mixes well with the locals, makes some wonderful friends and enjoys the beautiful countryside and more than anything actually has fun, working out the things that she wants to do and what she wants out of life.  She decides it’s one of the best decisions she’s probably ever made. When she returns to her ‘normal’ life, she still feels that there is something missing from her life, leaving part of her heart in France and when she is given the opportunity for a second exchange in the south of France, she is unsure whether to take another leap of faith.  With help and guidance from her best friend and her cousin, she makes her decision.

The cover of the book needs a word or two I feel.  Gorgeous is the one I would pick first.  Enticing would be second and captivating would be third. Pretty much like the book itself. 

Captured by the story right from the start, I quickly began to empathise with the character of Katherine.  I wanted to help her get through the heart-break she was experiencing and be her friend.  I wanted to be sat with her and her best friends while they were trying hard to help her sort her life out. 

When Katherine visited France, I became her! Patricia’s descriptions of the places she visited were just incredible.  She paints such an adorable picture of places, you feel like you could kick off your flip-flops and feel the sand between your toes, paddling in the waves.  When she wrote about food, it came to life.  I could smell the aromas and it made my mouth water. 

I have actually visited the South of France, so I did know some of the places which Patricia described which certainly helped me to paint a picture, although I don’t think you need to know the area at all to enjoy this book. My darling Mom would have adored this book.  She was a huge fan of France, visiting lots of times and I know that she would have loved reading this.

More than anything, the book was filled with a million emotions.  Katherine experienced heart-break, love, loss, grief, faith and hope.  It showed me that it’s never too late to start again in life and I would like to think that this book will be an inspiration to many people who read it. 

I loved Patricia’s writing in her last book, The Bridge Club – my review can be found here but The Promise of Provence for me was even more enjoyable, keeping me totally mesmerised all the way through.  A pretty perfect ending too made it a fabulous read.

Patrica Sands lives in Toronto, Canada most of the time, Florida some of the time and the south of France whenever she can.  With a happily blended family of seven adult children and at last count, six grandchildren, life for Patricia is full and time is short.  Her debut award-winning novel The Bridge Club was published in August 2010 and her second novel, The Promise Of Provence was released in April 2013 to great acclaim. 

You can find out more about Patricia at her website: http://patriciasands.wordpress.com/

You can follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/patricia_sands

You can buy this book on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 


Patricia said...

Thank you so much for your enthusiastic review, Kim! I'm so glad you enjoyed going along on Katherine's journey! I am in France now doing research for the follow-up novel after receiving so many requests from readers. I want to know what happens next to Katherine too! I'm honoured to receive such a fine review from you!

TripFiction Team said...

This is a lovely book and paints the South of France really well. Thanks for such a great review!

Linn B Halton said...

Fabulous review Kim, Patricia is an amazing author and really brings the wonders of Provence alive!

Kit Domino said...

What a brilliant review. An excellent read indeed! I've never been to France but Patricia has painted a glorious picture and given me itchy feet to want to visit it. Now, that's a good writer!

Janice Horton said...

The fabulous cover speaks volumes - but what a fabulous review - this book is a must read. It makes me want to hang onto summer and escape to Provence in Patricia's fabulous book!

Janice xx

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read, Kim! Thank you for the review. Congratulations, Patricia!

Miriam Wakerly said...

This book is already on my Kindle and I am really looking forward to reading it. This review makes me even more keen to get to it!

Bonnie Trachtenberg said...

This is on my kindle too and am really looking forward to reading it as a prelude to my first trip to France! It sounds absolutely marvelous! Great review, Kim!