This is the perfect book to give you an escape from everything that’s happening in the world today: Corona, isolation, social distancing, panic, and all the emotions that we’re going through every day right now!
Fern and Aiden have been married for seven years, and although Fern realises that something definitely seems to be bother Aiden recently, she’s sure that they’re as solid as ever. Every relationship goes through ups and downs but she’s certain that whatever it is, it’s just a blip and it will pass. When they suddenly win a substantial sum of money, Fern expects that this will smooth over all of the rough edges that they’re going through and that their lives can continue happily, if not a lot more comfortably! She couldn’t be more wrong. The money brings more upheaval than she could ever have imagined.
Aiden wants to take a ‘gap year’ and Fern is initially horrified. But being the amenable, calm, collected and level-headed person that she is, she listens to his reasons and when they make the announcement to friends and family, she joins him in doing so, presenting a united front and making it look like a fait accompli.
So off Aiden goes, far afield to Australia with his backpack. Fern chooses something closer to home as she absolutely will not board an aeroplane, for reasons that become apparent later on. She has chosen to travel to a restful retreat at Château de Vernon in scenic Provence. Although guests usually stay for a week, Fern has arranged to stay for longer, willingly agreeing to help out around the Château. In return, she will also receive art lessons from the owner, Nico.
Fern quickly settles into her ‘new normal’ although she is still struggling to come to terms with what’s going on in her marriage, unsure of what this year of separation will mean for her and Aiden when they are reunited. She also finds their limited communication to be a contributing factor, as the time difference often makes it difficult for them to connect as often as she’d like.
Readers will quickly identify with Fern. She’s likeable and although I initially thought she wasn’t a very strong person, I came to realise that what looked like weakness and her constant need to please others, was actually quite a strong character trait. While she was going along with what others wanted, Fern was standing back, deciding what would be the right course of action for herself … very clever! There’s nothing quite like thinking you’re content with the life you’re living, thinking that it’s all you’ll ever really be able to have, only to discover that there’s actually an entire world out there, and a whole new life waiting for you to experience it!
Every single character in this book is so well thought out and so well-rounded. Lucy Coleman has developed solid back stories for each of them, and I absolutely love what she did at the end (ha! you’ll have to stick around to see what she does there … no cheating!). The story is absorbing and readers will definitely lose themselves in the beauty of the Provence countryside. The author’s descriptions bring the area to life, and you can almost feel like you’re right there as you get to know each character and the reasons why they’ve each chosen to take a bit of time out at this retreat. I know I certainly wanted to visit while I was immersed in this beautiful book.
This is highly recommended reading, especially for the time we’re in right now. It’s perfect escapism. 5 stars for this lovely story about discovering who you are.
Thank you so much to Rachel Gilbey Rachel’s Random Blog Tours for inviting me along on this gorgeous blog tour. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about Summer in Provence …
From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’
Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.
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