Wednesday 27 April 2022

Guest Review: A Wedding in Provence by Katie Fforde

Late summer, 1963

Fresh from London and a recent cookery course, Alexandra has always loved a challenge.

Which is why she now finds herself standing outside an imposing chateau in Provence.

Waiting for her inside is three silent, rather hostile children who are to be her charges for the next month.

They will soon be more friendly, she tells herself. All they need is some fun, good food and an English education.

Far more of a challenge though is their father - an impossibly good looking French count with whom she is rapidly falling in love . . .

I do love a book from Katie Ffforde and have been eagerly awaiting her new release, which I snapped up in audio format as soon as it was available. The title promised a trip to France, but gave no clue to the complex tale within that took me back quite a few years and kept me entertained there for many pleasant hours. 

The story begins in 1963 where the reader meets Alexandra, a young woman who has lived in the grand family house in London cared for by various nannies and companions since the death of her parents some years before. Her guardians now wish her to attend finishing school in Switzerland and she is reluctantly on her way there, stopping over in Paris for just 24 hours. However, a chance meeting with a young American lady leads to her procuring a temporary job working for a count - Antoine. What she doesn’t realise when she accepts the post is that the job involves acting as nanny to his three children who consider themselves too old to need a nanny, and that the count’s home is not in Paris, but a chateau in Provence. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Alexandra sets out to win round her charges, but can she stop herself from falling for their handsome father into the bargain?

I absolutely loved this charming story and can highly recommend it. There is so much more to it than the title might suggest, with its lovely location, great cast of strong and interesting characters, and a promise of romance. Alexandra is an amazing young woman who has learnt a lot from her difficult earlier years. As well as having to deal with hostility from the children, she suddenly finds herself in sole charge of the crumbling chateau, and faces opposition from Antoine’s mother-in-law, ex-wife and sophisticated girlfriend; quite a challenge for a 20-year-old, but she steps up and gets on with things. Antoine is away a lot on business but whenever he returns, he is impressed by Alexandra’s abilities and finds himself liking her more and more, while for her part she is trying not to be drawn to him. The skilful writing of the story keeps the reader guessing but hoping for a happy outcome for the pair. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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