Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: The French for Christmas by Fiona Valpy

I liked this book quite a bit. I very much enjoyed the idea behind the story - running away to the French countryside to escape the holidays. Evie is dreading Christmas and her friends offer to let her stay at their place in France.  In the process of running away, Evie is able to finally come to terms with the grief that forced her to run away.  She also meets some wonderful people in the area and rekindles her love of cooking.

But I'm only giving this three stars instead of the four I'd normally give a book like this because I had a problem with the way the story ended. I don't want to give away too much, but I didn't think the husband was treated fairly. He suffered the same loss, and for some reason he's supposed to be punished because he didn't give up on life the way Evie did? If he did something horrible that was deserving of the way he was treated it wasn't mentioned.  It sounded as if even when they were separated he continued to credit Evie with his success as celebrity chef.  He didn't run off and abandon her.  If Evie really wanted to honor her dead child, shouldn't treating the child's father fairly be part of that? The more I think about this, the more I'm bothered by it.

Overall, I enjoyed the characters and especially the setting and this is yet another book that has made me want to run away to France for the holidays.  I think a lot of people probably won't be as bothered as I was by the ending. There's still a nice, simple romance involved, but to me it seemed a bit generic and an easy solution when going another direction would have created a much deeper, stronger love story.

I received a review copy via NetGalley.

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