Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Review: Love Under French Skies by Gill Bryant

Love Under French Skies
In a beautiful French valley, a woman discovers renewed hope and a message of love sent down the years.Fiona Grange feels her life is over.
In a career rut, abandoned by her husband, with a daughter who has left home and a best friend who has recently re-married, life seems to be passing her by.
Then a letter from a French lawyer shakes everything up: it seems she has inherited a house in France from an aunt she didn’t even know she had.
Fiona recognises that this might be just what she needs and, taking voluntary redundancy from her lecturing job, packs up and goes to see the house for herself.
The beautiful Lot valley and the people she meets in the village begin a much-needed healing process.
Fiona falls head over heels in love with France, and with the house — not to mention two very different but equally attractive men: sensible, solid Englishman Mike and wildly impulsive Frenchman Xavier.
And Aunt Bernice’s real legacy turns out to be something more deeply significant and life-changing than the house itself.
But Fiona has to find out exactly what that is for herself….

Shona's review 3 of 5 stars

I'm in love with the French countryside and Bernice / Fiona's house, but I'm not overly fond of the people. I understand that Fiona is still trying to get over her failed marriage, but I cant bring myself to feel sorry for her. Her reactions to discovering Bernice has left her everything she owned, she seemed more intrigued about she had gained as opposed to what she had lost, I know she didn't know about Bernice, but i felt Fiona should have been more intrigued. In fact it wasn't until she actually moved to the house that she seemed to acknowledge that Bernice was actually a real person.

UGH I actually hate Xavier.. he never gives Fiona the opportunity to actually feel how she feels, he's forever pushing his thoughts and feelings on her. Especially after her accident, he pushes himself on her in the worst of ways. She's just told him shes devastated by what she has discovered and he's taken advantage of her by dragging her across to his house, in his car, there by isolating her. She has no means of 'escape'. And when she voices her concerns he flies in to a fit of rage.

I'm deeply annoyed by the ending, I understand the author has done what she feels is right, but I honestly feel cheated, it feels too much like having your cake and eating it.... And without giving huge spoilers I cant elaborate on that.
I don't often explain why I've given a book a specific rating, but I am aware of how negative my review actually sounds and some may think it deserved less stars. However, despite my obvious dislikes for certain aspects of the story I needed to know how Fiona's tale would end, and although when I had put the book down I didn't feel that pull to pick it back up, whilst reading I could get lost amongst the pages.

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