Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas – review

Published by Transworld Digital

Publication date – 7 May 2020

Source – Netgalley ebook review copy

Can Del 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? After 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?

Del has moved to France with her husband, Ollie. It is their chance at a fresh start after the heartbreak of finding out they cannot have children. Six weeks later the van is packed, ready to go in the opposite direction, back to England. But this time it leaves without Del. Now Del has to find a way to make money so that she can keep the lavender farmhouse.

There is a common theme to books by Jo Thomas. They all have friendly, warm characters, are set in wonderful locations and leave the reader with a contented glow that comes with an escapist read.

This is a very gentle read. Del seems rather abruptly to decide to leave her husband, or rather to let him leave. She soon finds herself with a way of making money. Her new impulsiveness finds her with new friends, a new business and possibly a new love.

Having spent the last 6 weeks with the expats, Del realises the real way of feeling at home is to integrate with the local culture. She soon finds that the local residents are welcoming and friendly, happy to help her settle in.

Del is coming to terms with the ending of her marriage and her dreams of becoming a parent. She embraces life in Provence, challenging herself to learn French, to cook and to make a go of living on a French lavender farm. She makes friends with Fabian almost immediately and so gathers to her a mis-matched group of people to her, from Stephanie the teenage runaway to Henri, the owner of the local bistro and Alain, one of the homeless living on the outskirts of town.

There aren’t scenes of great peril, rather ups and downs as Del irons out her new life, coping with potential stumbling blocks that soon smooth out.

As said above, this is a gently paced story, the story line progresses at a suitable pace and the characters all have their place. It was lovely to spend a few virtual days in the French countryside, speeding through the pages. A nice, escapist read.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sounds a perfect read for now – I’d love to escape to a French farmhouse 🙂


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