The French for Christmas by Fiona Valpy

"You have to give it time, Evie. Time, and love. That's the only recipe for healing."  

Title - The French for Christmas 
Author - Fiona Valpy 
Publisher - Bookouture
Publication Date - 3rd October 2014
Format - eBook (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 304

The blurb

Evie used to love Christmas, but this year she can't wait for the tinsel and presents to be a distant memory. 

When her best friends offer the use of their cottage in the beautiful French countryside, Evie jumps at the chance. With her soon-to-be-ex husband, celebrity chef Will Brooke, plastered over the news with his latest 'love interest', leaving the country seems like the perfect plan. 

Armed with her French grandmother's tattered notebook of recipes, Evie is determined to ignore Christmas altogether and bake herself back to happiness. 

And when Evie meets her next-door neighbour - the tres gorgeous doctor Didier - she finds a very willing taste-tester. But is it possible that he could be interested in more than just her Tarte Tatin? 

With snow falling, a special Reveillon dinner and a little Christmas magic in the air, could Didier even be the one thaw Evie's heart? Or will a visit from the ghost of Christmas past change everything?

Becca's thoughts

Fiona Valpy is one hell of a beautiful writer. When she writes, it's like she's placing notes onto a sheet, and music is being created from them. It was stunning. Every word, and every chapter was written with such sheer delicacy, I felt as if I was walking through a real-life Christmas Wonderland. Fiona effortlessly placed me right beside Evie within the story, and I really didn't want to return to reality. The snow, the crackling fire, the absolutely divine-sounding French food. It was a merry, twinkling mass of Christmas, and everything that that fabulous time of the year represents. 

I'd like to say a great big thank you to the publishers Bookouture for accepting me via Net Galley for a digital copy of Fiona Valpy's 'The French for Christmas', and another thank you to the author herself. I love Christmas. In fact, I am a Christmas maniac, and this was top-notch in the Christmas stakes. 

The story within 'The French for Christmas' was based upon Evie. Evie had had a terrible, tragic past, and she finding it hard to let it go. What made it even worse for poor Evie was that her ex, Will, seemed to be popping up bloody everywhere. On TV, in magazines... She just couldn't get away from the past that seemed to be glued to her side, following her everywhere. So when Evie's best-friends offer her their holiday cottage in the middle of the absolutely breathtaking French countryside, she jumps at the chance to finally get away. It's a chance for Evie to gather her wounded, heartbroken soul, and maybe, hopefully, to recuperate. 

Evie's past was an incredibly sad one. My vision grew blurry on more than one occasion, and Evie's need to get away was made crystal clear by her thoughts and emotions that were displayed by Fiona. When she was offered the cottage, I couldn't help but to grin like a maniac. People always say that one of the main reasons they read fiction is because it provides escapism, and escapism is what you'll find in 'The French for Christmas'. Not only is Evie escaping to find some peace of mind and comfort, but the reader can easily escape alongside Evie, too. So, where better to escape to than a cosy cottage amid rolling French hills? Trust me when I say readers, it was stunning. 

The plot progressed smoothly, and again, the amount of detail that Fiona included when writing provided me with a super clear HD image of Evie and her story. Everything from the snow, to the trees, to the skies, to the interior of the cottage! Fiona was incredibly creative when it came to her descriptions, and it made the story all the more enjoyable to read. Fiona is like an artist, but with words instead of paint. 

Another thing that I must add! If you're a food-lover, then again, 'The French for Christmas' will be right up your street. I think I read the entirety of the book with my stomach rumbling. There were SO many delicious mentions to French food, I felt like I needed to book a table ASAP and stuff my face. One part which I absolutely adored was when Evie decided to venture out to one of the French markets, and there was just FOOD EVERYWHERE. It was amazing. I loved how Evie's passion was to cook, which coincided with history between her and her ex, Will. Ever since the tragedy struck though, Evie's passion had slowly dwindled out, and it was so emotional to watch it slowly, gradually, resurfacing once more as the days that Evie spent in the cottage went by. 

'The French for Christmas' by Fiona Valpy was just beautiful. I can't think of another word to describe it better than what 'beautiful' does. It was written with so much heart and devotion to not only Evie, but to the world around her, too. I was insanely jealous of her Christmas cottage retreat! If escapism is what you're needing, then you'll find it within this gorgeous story of forgiveness, letting go, and finally moving forward. 

Becca's Books is giving 'The French for Christmas' by Fiona Valpy FOUR pretty cupcakes! I was transported to a Christmas wonderland and I didn't want to leave! Despite the weather outside of my window, I felt like I was crunching fresh, un-touched snow beneath my feet. Absolutely loved it! 


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