The Provence Cure for the Brokenheartedby Bridget Asher
Synopsis (from Amazon): Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II.
There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother’s “lost summer” when Heidi was a child. As three generations collide with one another, with the neighbor who seems to know all of their family skeletons, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and healing amid the vineyards, warm winds and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal Heidi’s heart, too?
First Sentence: Ever since Henry’s death, I’d been losing things.
Review: What a delight this novel was to read — “lovely” from start to finish — despite the sad premise. I began reading it on a flight and when the plane’s wheels touched the tarmac, I resurfaced having spent the time in the air in the South of France with a group of friends.
At its heart, Provence Cure is a love story — or really a series of love stories, interconnected and intertwined. However, as the first sentence announces, the protagonist’s love has died unexpectedly and she is left bereft with their son and a host of memories. This does not sound like the recipe for a joy-filled love story, but Asher presents “love” in a rich, complex, multi-faceted perspective that somehow never becomes sappy or sentimental.
While reading I tagged passages to quote, but out of context the quotes failed to express the depth of characterization that Asher is able to create, so I decided to leave them out of this review. But I strongly recommend this novel to anyone who loves well-crafted, authentic character-driven fiction. I predict that you will enjoy this as much as I did, and I look forward to checking out Asher’s previous two novels as well.
One caveat — this novel may not result in a sustained book club discussion — many character-driven novels and romances do not — but will certainly provide hours of enjoyment.
Interested in winning a free copy? Drop me a comment below and I will choose a lucky winner by the weekend!
Interested in other reviews? Check out the following:
Monday, March 28th: Colloquium
Tuesday, March 29th: Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, March 30th: Luxury Reading
THursday, March 31st: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, April 1st: Acting Balanced
Monday, April 4th: Book Club Classics!
Wednesday, April 6th: Rundpinne
Monday, April 11th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, April 13th: Girlichef
Thursday, April 14th: Joyfully Retired
Monday, April 18th: Debbie’s Book Bag
Wednesday, April 20th: Books, Lists, Life
Monday, April 25th: Caribousmom