Friday, July 8, 2011

Literary Friday: The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

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This week I read The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher. I know many of you have emailed me about this book, wondering when I was going to read it.  I finally got around to it, and I love it.

I want to warn you that if you have been grieving lately, the first 124 pages of the book might be a bit too intense because Heidi, the main character, is grieving over the death of her husband who died two years previously.  They truly had a great marriage and loved each other very much. Some of the details about the marriage I find heartbreaking.  I literally cried during a couple of passages because Heidi's memories of her late husband and her grief was too much for me. Making life even more difficult for Heidi is that her sister, Elysius, is about to be married, and Heidi is a bridesmaid.  She is also worried for her seven-year-old son, Abbot.  Abbot has been exhibiting signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:  he is obsessed with germs, washing his hands, and hand sanitizer.  Heidi has also allowed her grief to hinder her creativity as she has not created a single cake at her business, the Cake Shop.  Heidi and her husband Henry started the Cake Shop together.  They both shared a love for cooking and pastries, and they even met in a kitchen. Amazingly, a family secret is the key ingredient that eventually led to Heidi's meeting Henry.

After Elysius's wedding, Heidi's French mother decides that Heidi should visit the family home in Puyloubier, Provence.  The house needs work especially in the recently fire-damaged kitchen. Heidi decides that it will not hurt her to have a "lost summer" like her mother did when Heidi was thirteen. So she packs her bags and takes Abbot and her niece, Charlotte, to France.  While there, Heidi regains her senses and feels alive again.  She becomes interested in her creative outlet (baking), and throws lots of energy into renovating the neglected family home.  She reconnects with the neighbors she knew as a child,  and family secrets are revealed as Heidi and Abbot both heal.

I love the setting for this book.  Heidi's family home has a history, and most of the stories tend to be romantic ones.  Marriages have been proposed, babies conceived, and love has flourished under its roof.  It seems that the house likes attention, and it fosters romantic feelings and desires in its inhabitants.  I adore books where the family homes are really characters rather than mere settings.   I also enjoy books with a homecoming theme, so the whole idea that returning to the home of one's heart can truly heal heartbreak appeals to me.

A glorious setting in Provence, struggling characters the reader roots for, a house that comes with its own set of lore, and a budding love story kept me reading late into the night.  What more could I possibly ask for in a summer reading book?  The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted will definitely cure your Summer Reading List blues.

Don't forget to share your summer reading with us at our What We're Reading Linky Party. Bonnie will probably be hosting this month.



What We're Reading


Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


7 comments:

  1. All I can say is WOW!! This sounds fantastic!
    Have you read the book Good Grief? It is excellent! A sad but funny book where it actually made me laugh out loud! I love when books do that.
    I will keep my eye open for this one.
    Thanks Ricki!

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  2. The cover of this book has been speaking -- okay then, screaming -- at me each time I go past the new book table at Borders. Thanks to your review I can finally buy it.

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  3. OK AMAZON HERE I COME...but I need my "beauty rest" so I will have to start it when I can sleep in. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  4. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for letting us know. I think that this would be a great book for my book club. I was excited to hear what you were going to say about it. I love the cover of it and have picked it up several times. :) I will probably put it in the line up for this coming year now. YAY!

    ~Liz

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  5. I'm so glad you are reviewing this one. I've had it on my "to read" list & now I know this one is NOT for me. I'm not a fan of the whole grieving thing & I'm so happy that you've spared me. Thanks Ricki! :)

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  6. This looks really good. Before I started working full time I was always reading a book. Always. When I got my job I found that I had a hard time concentrating...my kids were still home and I felt like I was on a treadmill. I was just getting bored enough to start reading again when I started my blog! I used to sometimes pick a book because I loved the cover...that is true for this book. I would have picked it for that reason alone. Good choice!

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  7. Yes definitely adding this to my wishlist :)

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