Friday 8 May 2020

Escape To The French Farmhouse - Jo Thomas || Blog Tour

 Can she find her recipe for happiness?

 Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier…a new life in France – without Ollie.

Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? Discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?

As you must of guessed by now i am big into escapism and virtual holidays right now and a trip to France was just what i needed. I haven't read much by Jo Thomas, but i had seen her on a virtual book event and she was discussing the book and i just knew it was a bit of me. I am pleased to tell you, i was right.

Del and Ollie have moved to France for a new start, after years of heartbreak with fertility this could be their chance for a new life, but when after 6 short weeks - it isn't all going as planned, the couple are packed up ready to return home. However, in that moment Del decides this is actually the life she wants and sends Ollie and all their belongings on their way whilst she stays with not even a chair in the house. She watches them leave and knows in that moment she has made the right choice.
"Was it Mistral madness? Whatever it was, this is a new day, a fresh new day , and there are far worse places i could be."
However - despite been as positive as she can there is still the stark reality of the fact she has no furniture, no income and bills to pay. Armed with a few lavender plants and not much else she starts to panic slightly. Yet first things first, furniture. She meets the delightful Fabian who helps her get enough furniture to get by, however when he arrives to drop it off he also gifts her the beautiful cookbook she was originally eyeing up which focuses on Lavender. Well - surely she is going to have to bake something. Her baking starts to flourish as does her relationship with Fabian and those in the community. Is this really the new start she needs? Can she let go of Ollie and her dreams.

I can't put into words how truly delightful this book was. I could see myself sat on the patio with a cold glass of Rose listening to the sounds of the bees and the smell of Lavender. It literally made me feel peaceful. Jo has written such a vivid book that is so clear you can smell the smells, hear the sounds and taste the food.

The characters were wonderfully written and i loved discovering how a community can make a family with such unique perspectives and kind hearts. It was just pure goodness. Del was just lovely, she was so kind, honest and i really feel like she needed to find her happy ending and make her own dreams come true.

I don't think these words do it justice but if you want something to take your mind of the current situations, this is just that. At its heart its about friendship, family and community and what more could you really ask for? I mean a swoon worthy man in the shape of Fabian and some delicious dishes at the Bistro were certainly an added bonus. I was so sad to leave, there is just so much in this book - i flew through it and i cannot believe how much happened but yet it didn't feel crammed. It felt natural and real.

I was gifted this for the blog tour and this is my honest review.
If you want to get a copy you can get one at amazon here

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

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