The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands Purchase:

    An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France.

    Fifty, suddenly divorced and alone, can be an opportunity to begin something better than you ever dreamed … see for yourself … 

    Life often changes when we least expect it and that’s what this story is all about.

    Surprise, shock, and a shift in her comfortable life tumble into Katherine Price’s world when least expected. The future she has imagined suddenly vanishes, leaving little to focus upon beyond her career and the caregiving her elderly widowed mother might require.

    Fate has other plans.

    June in Provence is full of promise when Katherine arrives from Canada, eager to feel renewed by her surroundings. Endless rows of lavender prepare to burst into pink and purple blooms. Fields of sunflowers flow in golden waves among vineyards and olive groves. Ancient hilltop villages beckon. It’s the postcard setting she envisioned, but is that all she needs?

    After a year of heartbreak, Katherine has impulsively agreed to a home exchange in the south of France. Colorful locals, a yellow lab named Picasso, and the inspiring beauty of the countryside breathe new life into her days.

    Seeking to shed the pain of betrayal and loss, she struggles to recapture her joie de vivre and searches for the answer to a haunting question: is it too late to begin again?

    As Katherine explores the romantic cobblestone lanes of medieval towns, discovers the intoxicating pleasures of Paris and savors the sun-kissed Côte d’Azur, she begins redefining the possibilities in her life.

    An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France. Like a well-travelled friend, Patricia Sands invites readers into a world she loves and entices them to linger.

    Readers of The Promise of Provence have said the story took them on the best vacation they ever had without leaving home!

    The Promise of Provence received a Finalist award ~ 2013 USA Best Book Awards (ChickLit/Women’sLit).

    About Patricia Sands:

    DSF0005-682x1024Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France. With a focus on travel, women’s issues and ageing, her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship.

    Encouraging women of all ages to stare down the fear factor and embrace change, she has heard from readers (men too!) ages 20 to 83. Her award-winning debut novel The Bridge Club was published in 2010 and her second novel, The Promise of Provence was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013 and a USA Best Book 2013 Finalist. She returned to France in September 2013, for a month to research her next novel, due for release in 2014. In June 2014 she led two 11-day tours of the south of France, based on her last novel, for fourteen women with the Women’s Travel Network.

    Find out more at Patricia’s Facebook Author Page, Amazon Author Page or her blog where there are links to her books, social media, and monthly newsletter that has special giveaways and sneak peeks at her next book. She would love to hear from you!

    Review by Paulita: I can’t promise this novel with satisfy your longing for France. In fact, I’d have to say that it made mine worse. The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands is strongest when it takes the reader throughout Provence — the cliff villages, the coastal towns, the vineyards. It definitely made me yearn to return.

    The novel begins in Toronto with Katherine’s 22nd wedding anniversary. She arrives home to learn her husband has left her for another woman. Katherine’s journey through pain and loss isn’t over though. Some might call this novel a romance, but I prefer to think of it as a novel about a woman’s independence.

    Katherine decides to exchange homes with a couple in Provence. That’s where the travel really begins, and the romance sparks as she puts her past life behind her.

    The culture of France, the realization that every minute of life should be seized and lived to the fullest, spark hope in Katherine.

    Here’s a quote from her time in the market:

    “Adding three jars of lavender honey to her basket, her next stop was the herb seller, whose long table blazed with vivid color and filled the air with a bouquet of fragrantly pungent smells that was almost hallucinogenic. Here she chose three mixtures prepared by the woman whose flamboyant makeup and dresses were as colorful as her wares. One packet was for preparing fish dishes, another for Mediterranean salads, and the last for lamb.

    As she lingered, she was reminded of the word “la garrique,” which Joy had used to describe the combination of earthy, herbal, floral, and other scents found in the Provencal markets. It was unique and something she felt she would not forget.
    Her last stop was the soap vendor. Again, the vibrant and fragrant display of the famous savon de Marseille, oils and creams, caressed her senses.”

    The novel shows how Katherine heals from her marriage and other troubles as she grows more confident.

    I’d recommend this book if you love travel. I also like the fact that the main character becomes a stronger woman than she anticipates.