If you have ever been to Provence you will surely recognise it in Patricia Sands’ book The Promise of Provence…
If you have never been, reading this book will leave you yearning to visit and see if it could really be that lovely…
The Promise of Provence is the story of Katherine Price, happily married in Canada for many years, whose life falls apart in the very first pages of the book.
Tragedy follows disaster for 50 something Katherine and she finds herself divorced, no immediate family and without a job. She realises it is time to take stock of her life and seeks inspiration and her joie de vivre in Provence which she had visited in her youth. She signs up to a house exchange programme and what follows next is the tale of a woman’s adventures as she tries to overcome her worries of travelling alone and to regain her zest for life and start all over.
Could Provence really be as beautiful as she remembers? Do the endless rows of vibrant lavender and fields of golden sunflowers, vineyards and olive groves exist as they do in her imagination? Patricia’s descriptions are full of deliciousness and paint a colourful picture for the reader.
It’s not all fabulous depictions, there are serious issues too running through the book. Losing loved ones, dealing with betrayal and loss and learning how to begin over and maybe find love again.
As Katherine explores the romantic cobblestone lanes of medieval towns, discovers the intoxicating pleasures of Paris and savours the sun-kissed Côte d’Azur, she begins redefining the possibilities in her life.
It’s not all roses for Katherine though; a would-be lothario whose intentions are unwanted and a close friend with a serious problem add a dose of reality.
An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France. Like a well-travelled friend, Patricia invites readers into a world she loves and entices them to linger.
A gentle, light-hearted read with a warm feeling and a great ending. A “middle-aged romance”? Yes it is, and proud of it! Several of Patricia’s readers have written how the book “inspired” them in their own lives and that is perhaps one of its best strengths, it is quite believable, not maudlin and very positive.
It is a story of love lost and love found, as well as love for Provence – a romantic travel book that will leave you desiring to visit and see for yourself this very beautiful area of France.
French Bookworm loved reading this book!
Read Patricia Sands guest feature “Falling in Love with France“… and our interview with Patricia Sands