This week has been far busier than normal. I know that you understand how life sometimes gets in the way of blogging. This week I've had to:
1. Return a clothes dryer and find a new one that works
2. Help two friends who are ill (one with cancer). I cooked for them and delivered food.
3. Take Shelley to and from equestrian boot camp.
4. Have three hours' worth of allergy testing
5. Attend two impromptu meetings (certainly not expecting them)
I have been home very little, and when I've been home I've been cooking.
I am beyond thrilled that thirteen peeps linked-up to My Happy List! I promise I will visit you before the end of the day. Y'all have made me so happy!
This is the first week in a very long time I haven't completed a book, so I'm recycling a post from two years ago.
Please note that I need to take a blog break and focus on our home and family. Plus next week I'm helping Shanley Belle move into her new apartment in Tuscaloosa. I will be back next Friday, August 2, for Literary Friday. There will not be Happy List Link Party next week. Hopefully by next Friday I will have completed a book!
July, 2011 I read The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher.
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.
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 of "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.