Tuesday, 30 December 2014


My Thoughts on this moving and magical story ......


Published:  3 October 2014
Publisher:  Bookouture

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?
Evie is not looking forward to Christmas this year.  In the last twelve months she has lost her baby, her husband and her cooking mojo.  She can't face the fun and glitz of Christmas so she decides to get away, to France for peace, quiet and some healing space.  She's an American with Irish and French roots.
At first in the countryside there is no rural tranquillity with a crowing rooster, screeching owl, barking dog and a midnight mechanic for a neighbour!  But when Evie browses the local market with the wonderful sights and smells she gradually begins to feel inspired to start cooking again.....and start healing.
I feel cocooned here, far enough away, at last, from London with its constant reminders of failure and disappointment and loss; far enough away from my family in Boston to allow them the space to stop worrying about me and enjoy their lives, unimpeded by the weight of my sorrow; far enough from the magazine articles and the TV programmes and, at last, far enough away from Christmas itself.
She meets her neighbours, including the dishy local locum doctor, a Bradley Cooper lookalike....and her heart starts to heal as well as her culinary skills.
The writing is so rich and vivid, I especially enjoyed the parts where Evie is reminiscing about her childhood memories such as skating on the lake in the middle of winter with her sister and her mother.
If you love French cooking, there are lots of delicious recipes dotted throughout the book.  If you love the French countryside, there are some lovely descriptions of the village setting.  This is the sort of book that's perfect for losing yourself in during the long winter nights, it's like a cosy jumper to wrap around yourself keeping you snug and warm.  I loved it!
I received a copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Fiona Valpy has pledged to donate 10% of any royalties she receives from sales of The French for Christmas to the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in support of their work all over the world, providing care and medical aid where it's needed most.  Please visit her website www.fionavalpy.com for more details and updates.  And you can find out more about Medecins Sans Frontieres at www.msf.org

About the Author
Fiona Valpy lives in France, having moved there from the UK in 2007. She left behind a career in Marketing and Public Relations to explore new avenues and now teaches yoga and writes.
Having renovated an old rambling farmhouse with her husband, she has developed new-found skills in cement-mixing and interior decorating, although her preferred pastime by far is wine-tasting.


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