Book Review: The French for Christmas, by Fiona Valpy

A year to forget. The perfect escape. And a little Christmas magic…

the french for christmas

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 très 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 Réveillon dinner and a little Christmas magic in the air, could Didier even be the one to thaw Evie’s heart? Or will a visit from the ghost of Christmas past change everything?

Fiona Valpy has a very unique writing style. The book is full of descriptive language, creating such a vivid and beautiful setting of the South of France and of all the food which is a major theme throughout the book. The language is practically poetry, and is a refreshing change from the norm to read. I did find it was much slower paced than I am used to, but it works well for it, as Fiona takes her time to describe everything so explicitly it’s hard not to get swept away into the depths of the French countryside with Evie.

I adored Evie. She felt so real, so human, I wanted to hold her in my arms and wash her pain away. The dreamy Doctor Didier (who happens to be a dead ringer for Bradley Cooper!) was the perfect hero for this book. He too has his own demons to battle, and his own broken pieces to mend, and the solace they find in eachother was tender and touching.

The experience of grief itself was written incredibly well. Both Evie and Didier have experienced great tragedy recently, and are trying to escape their grief, which was written so delicately, but was so very real, so tragic, my heart absolutely ached for them both. Fiona tackled the sensitive subject with elegance and grace, without romanticising it, making for a truly touching read.

I was also happy to see some familiar faces from The French For Love make an appearance. The entire cast are a wonderfully eclectic group, and I particularly love the wise old neighbour Eliane, and the re-appearance from her sister Mireille from The French For Love.

A heart-warming and truly beautiful Christmas book.

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Release date: 3 October 2014
Publisher: Bookouture
Buy: The French For Christmas on Amazon


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