Book Review: Escape to the French Farmhouse

Follow newly-single Del as she embraces life in Provence in this fantastic novel by Jo Thomas

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I received a copy of Escape to the French Farmhouse for review

Have you ever been tempted to turn your back on your current life, and start afresh somewhere new?

That’s what happened to Del, when she and her husband Ollie decided to sell up and move to Provence. Her much loved mother has recently died and their IVF journey has come to an abrupt end.

Everything just seems so bleak.

But after just a few weeks, Ollie decides that it isn’t working out for them, so it’s time to return to England. Suddenly Del realises that her problem doesn’t lie in where she is, but who she is there with. She makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to leave Ollie and stay in Provence, even as all her worldly belongings are trundling down the road in a removals van!

Far from feeling bereft at the end of her marriage, Del seizes the opportunity to start a new life, living in the now. She throws herself into the community and into a new business, making new friends along the way.

But will the ghosts of her marriage de-rail her attempts at a new life?

I really enjoyed Escape to the French Farmhouse, it was the ideal novel to read in the garden on a sunny afternoon. Del’s desire to seize her chance of a new beginning felt very relatable, as did the self-doubts that gnawed away at her.

Del is joined by a cast of lovable characters, from gorgeous Fabien who runs the flea market, and generous Henri at Del’s local bistro, to fiery Stephanie and her adorable son Tomas. And I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at Cora and the other expats, who sit at their British pub and turn their noses up at the local community.

But for me the star of the show was the beautiful French farmhouse that Del turns into her own haven. The descriptions of the surrounding area, its beautiful lavender farms and the laid-back lifestyle made me want to pack a bag and head to Provence right away!

Del grows in character throughout Escape to the French Farmhouse, and faces some challenges along the way both in her new business and in her personal life. I found myself almost crossing my fingers, hoping that she wouldn’t yield to the constant clamour of people urging her to return to her marriage.

Does she give into them? You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out!

The blurb:

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?

A fabulous French adventure that’s perfect for summer reading – 8.5/10

Escape to the French Farmhouse* is available in paperback, audiobook and Kindle format

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