Thursday 11 July 2013

Review! The French For Love by Fiona Valpy

Gina has lost her perfect job, her boyfriend and her favourite aunt all within the space of a few months.

So when she inherits her aunt’s ramshackle French house, Gina decides to pack her bags for the Bordeaux countryside – swapping the miserable English weather for blue skies, sunshine, great wine and a fresh start. 

What she hasn’t factored in is a hole in the roof, the most embarrassing language faux pas, and discovering family secrets that she was never supposed to know.

Suddenly feeling a long way from home, Gina will have to rely on new found friends, her own hard work – and Cédric – her charming, mysterious and très handsome new stonemason. 

But whilst desire needs no translation, love is a different matter. Can Gina overcome the language barrier to make her French dream come true?

Review: this is the perfect summer read! It was just the right amount of warmth and exotic location for this British summer. I loved the idea of the story, someone escaping to France and it was just as enjoyable as I expected! We are introduced to Gina and her hopeless situation straight away, and I loved her as a character. She is a strong person who knows that she has to get away in order to sort her life out. I like the fact that she has lost her job and so she is trying to further her education as well-an admirable quality! 

At the start of the book, the plot does tend to jump from time zone to time zone, moving back to moments before Gina had lost her job and before she had come out to France. Initially I found this to be a little confusing, but after a while the book got into its flow and told Gina's story in a more chronological way. The ending of the book was a slight down point for me, however, I felt like the events that happen at the end of the story, where everything is being resolved, could have been stretched over a longer time, it all felt a bit rushed. In other words, I think that this book could have been another 50 pages or so long. Although this part of the book did feel a little hurried, it didn't affect my enjoyment overall...

Of course the real star of this book is the setting! I love books with well-described settings and this is no expception to that. The French landscape is described in detail, as is the house/villa that Gina has inherited from her aunt. As there is building work going on in the house and as Gina travels around the region visiting people and tasting wines, we are treated to even more fabulous description-lucky us! 

I would definitely recommend this book as a summer read to anyone. The heat of the sun here would combat any british summer blues, or indeed compliment an unexpected heat wave. This is definitely one to pack in your suitcase. A little bit of romance, a nice glass of wine and a wonderful summer setting. A good summer read! 

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