Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Book review: The French for Christmas - Fiona Valpy #BookoutureXmas

A year to forget. The perfect escape. And a little Christmas magic…

Touching, uplifting, and filled with delicious French cooking,The French for Christmas is the perfect Christmas treat.

Evie used to LOVE Christmas, but this year she can’t wait for the tinsel and presents to be a distant memory. 

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 neighbour – 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 opinion.
Having read a Fiona Valpy book before, I didn't hesitate for a second when I saw her Christmas novel. The cover stood out as a signature design for Fiona's books and the snowflakes at the top finished it of beautifully.
The descriptions of the French countryside and the little village (... ok, cluster of houses then) Evie finds herself in, are truly idyllic. The picture Fiona paints is marvelous and I wish I could just drop everything right this second and travel to the countryside for a getaway in complete silence, surrounded by gorgeous landscapes and delicious food.
As a vegetarian though, I feel it is my duty to add a little 'warning' that not all culinary scenes are veggie-friendly ;-) But the passion for food and cooking Evie has, is nevertheless contagious and I couldn't wait to get in the kitchen after reading this book.
However beautiful Fiona's descriptions are, both of the scenery and Evie's emotions, there's not a lot of dialogue in this novel. Although the "quietness" that brought in the first part of the story fit in perfectly with Evie's mood and new surroundings, it made the story quite heavy at times.
Both Evie and Didier went to an awful lot before they ended up in this secluded part of France. Their stories are emotional and make you reevaluate and rethink your own life, loss, hopes and dreams. I truly loved this about The French For Always, but some more dialogue might have made thinks a bit 'lighter' to read.
Without trying to give too much away: the one thing I was a bit disappointed with, is the lack of closure between her and Will. That 'scene' felt like a missed opportunity, given the importance of that relationship to Evie in the rest of the book.
So although I wouldn't call this particular holiday read 'uplifting', it was definitely emotional and showed us everything we love about the Christmas season. A beautiful read!


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