Book Review: Love in Provence Series by Patricia Sands

The description of the places Kat visits reads almost like a travelogue and causes the reader to yearn for the south of France.

Throughout the Love in Provence Series (The Promise of Provence, Promises to Keep, and I Promise You This) Patricia Sands allows the reader to vicariously ponder the nagging question that many women have been forced to ask themselves, whether they be divorced or widowed: Is it too late to begin again?

Katherine (Kat) Price faces such a dilemma. On the anniversary of their twenty-two years of marriage, her husband sends her a bouquet of roses accompanied with a note stating he is leaving her for another woman. Kat is devastated.

Patricia Sands

One year later – after much professional counseling and cajoling by her best friend Molly and her cousin Andrea – and after the death of her mother, she impulsively accepts a home exchange in the south of France. The emotional depth of her story is skillfully woven through all three novels. Don’t just read one. I suggest you start at the beginning and read all three to fully understand the dilemma Kat faces.

Arriving at the farmhouse where she will spend the exchange, she meets Joy, the matriarch of a family with whom Kat falls in love, experiencing their joie de vivre. And then she meets Philippe who introduces her to the French tradition of making cheese as well as escorts her to out-of-the-way places most tourists never see.

She also meets a golden Lab named Picasso who goes with the farm where she is staying. With the dog as a trusted companion, Katherine has the opportunity to drive and/or bike through the peaceful farming communities of Provence.

She loves photographing the countryside, the panoramic vistas from the tops of hills, the people enjoying their lives, the villages. The description of the places Kat visits reads almost like a travelogue and causes the reader to yearn for the south of France.

A travelogue it is. But more important than the scenes is the emotional response by Kat feels for her experiences in a new country. Sands drops words and phrases of French into the dialogue of her characters, a technique that adds to the ambience of the plot. Kat downloads her photographs onto her computer and finally puts them into a photo journal of her stay in France.

At times, Katherine feels much like Cinderella sans Prince Charming. Kat is very much aware that she is alone for the first time in her life. She is torn between her love for Toronto, her home, and her growing fascination with France and its culture.

As Kat ponders her fate, she concludes that there “was no denying the moments of melancholic homesickness that overcame her from time to time. Memories were triggered by something as simple as a smell, a taste, or even a color. But those remembrances that brought sadness or a desire for what she once knew as home, often morphed into a reminder of good things that would stay with her no matter where life took her.”

Will she live in France? Will she return to Toronto?

Kat skypes frequently with her friend Molly, who manages to remind Kat that a “fling” just might be good for her. Perhaps, Molly says, it would allow Kat to realize she is worthy of true love. Kat always laughs at her friend’s suggestion – that is, until she meets two prospective candidates. The Cheese Man has a rival. Here comes a Business Man with love to give.

Which one will she choose? Is it too late for Kat to love again?

Please click HERE to purchase the books in the Promise of Provence series from Amazon.

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