Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dreaming of France -- The Promise of Provence

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.
I can't promise this novel will satisfy your longing for France. In fact, I'd have to say that it made mine worse. The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands is strongest when it takes the reader throughout Provence -- the cliff villages, the coastal towns, the vineyards. It definitely made me yearn to return.
The novel begins in Toronto with Katherine's 22nd wedding anniversary. She arrives home to learn her husband has left her for another woman. Katherine's journey through pain and loss isn't over though. Some might call this novel a romance, but I prefer to think of it as a novel about a woman's independence.
Katherine decides to exchange homes with a couple in Provence. That's where the travel really begins, and the romance sparks as she puts her past life behind her.
The culture of France, the realization that every minute of life should be seized and lived to the fullest, spark hope in Katherine.
Adding three jars of lavender honey to her basket, her next stop was the herb seller, whose long table blazed with vivid color and filled the air with a bouquet of fragrantly pungent smells that was almost hallucinogenic. Here she chose three mixtures prepared by the woman whose flamboyant makeup and dresses were as colorful as her wares. One packet was for preparing fish dishes, another for Mediterranean salads, and the last for lamb.
As she lingered, she was reminded of the word "la garrique," which Joy had used to describe the combination of earthy, herbal, floral, and other scents found in the Provencal markets. It was unique and something she felt she would not forget.
Her last stop was the soap vendor. Again, the vibrant and fragrant display of the famous savon de Marseille, oils and creams, caressed her senses.
 The novel shows how Katherine heals from her marriage and other troubles as she grows more confident.
I'd recommend this book if you love travel. I also like the fact that the main character becomes a stronger woman than she anticipates.
This book also counts for the Books on France meme at Words and Peace blog.
This is my fourth book set in France this year.


Louise said...

I haven't been to Provence (yet), there's so much to do in France, and Paris alone. I must plan to get there one trip though, it always looks amazing in photos, and sounds amazing in books. This story sounds a good one.

Esme said...

I am not sure why but Provence just does not call to me. This story sounds interesting.

Sim Carter said...

Just posted my Dreaming of France post as the opening credits to Game of Thrones run ... gotta run but I'll be back to read yours :)
thnx for hosting such a fun meme, a nice way to start the week.

Mystica said...

I've never been to France though I've not given up hope of going. I love these books and just drool over them.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Definitely one for me .. I have never been to Provence,, but would love to :-)

Lovable Derek said...

I fell in love in France and with France, in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Lot et Garonne – but that was a long time ago. Certainly made me brush up on my French.
This is a cool blog hop.
Have a good week.

Sim Carter said...

I just want to know what she's going to do with all that lavendar honey?

kayerj said...

I really like the opening paragraph, I'd stick with it. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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