What will be will be…
Belinda Marshall’s idyllic teenage life in Brittany, France, fell apart when her parents dramatically separated and her mother took her back to England.
Fast forward thirty-five years when Belinda’s world is once again turned upside down.
It’s the week before Christmas and Belinda’s employer ‘surprises’ her by asking for her help to rejuvenate their latest investment, a run-down campsite in Brittany. Memories and anxieties that had lain dormant for years suddenly begin to resurface.
As secrets from a lost life threaten to overwhelm her, there is a realisation that maybe she wasn’t told the whole truth by her mother all those years ago.
Can Belinda reconcile her emotions and find happiness once more in the place she so loved and called home?
This is a very atmospheric novel, and couldn’t be set anywhere other than France. The author catches the sights, sounds and all the nuances of expat life beautifully.
It’s also rather sad at times, particularly where Belinda and Fern tackle some serious issues. We experience the action of the novel from the point of view of these two characters. However, the book is fast-paced so we don’t get too long to dwell, and in contrast to these more difficult elements, there are joyful moments, and lots of life and imagination, and yes, happiness.
It is, however, essentially an optimistic novel overall, dealing as it does with facing up to truths, processing them and moving on, although that’s not as easy as it might sound. But it doesn’t shy from the damage and difficulties having such lurking truths – or rather untruths – can inflict.
The cover is lovely and oh so enticing, but since there are a lot of books out there called A French Affair, or some sort of close variation on the theme, I do worry slightly that this particular book will get lost in the melee. It really isn’t the most imaginative title! I think it deserves to made far more distinctive as it’s a unique story and should be allowed to stand out as well as it deserves to.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2N4AiJO
Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 14 women’s fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.
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